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EXCLI J. 2017 Mar 31;16:426-438. doi: 10.17179/excli2016-817. eCollection 2017.

Protective effects of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi against hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage and apoptosis in HaCaT human skin keratinocytes.

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Anti-Aging Research Center and Department of Biochemistry, Dongeui University College of Korean Medicine, 176 Yangjeong-ro, Busanjin-gu, Busan 47227, Republic of Korea.
Lioele Cosmetic Co., LTD., 2068-1 Jungangdae-ro, Geumjeong-gu, Busan 46214, Republic of Korea.
Department of Molecular Biology, College of Natural Sciences, Dongeui University, 176 Eomgwangno Busanjin-gu, Busan 47340, Republic of Korea.
Genomine Inc., Venture Bldg 306, Pohang TechnoPark, 394 Jigokor Pohang, 37668, Republic of Korea.


Oxidative stress due to excessive accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is one of the risk factors for the development of several chronic diseases. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of Scutellaria baicalensis rhizome ethanol extract (SBRE) against oxidative stress-induced cellular damage and elucidated the underlying mechanisms in the HaCaT human skin keratinocyte cell line. Our results revealed that treatment with SBRE prior to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) exposure significantly increased viability of HaCaT cells. SBRE also effectively attenuated H2O2-induced comet tail formation and inhibited the H2O2-induced phosphorylation levels of the histone γH2AX, as well as the number of apoptotic bodies and Annexin V-positive cells. In addition, SBRE exhibited scavenging activity against intracellular ROS generation and restored the mitochondrial membrane potential loss by H2O2. Moreover, H2O2 enhanced the cleavage of caspase-3 and degradation of poly (ADP-ribose)-polymerase, a typical substrate protein of activated caspase-3, as well as DNA fragmentation; however, these events were almost totally reversed by pretreatment with SBRE. Furthermore, SBRE increased the levels of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which is a potent antioxidant enzyme, associated with the induction of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). According to our data, SBRE is able to protect HaCaT cells from H2O2-induced DNA damage and apoptosis through blocking cellular damage related to oxidative stress through a mechanism that would affect ROS elimination and activating the Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway.


DNA damage; Nrf2/HO-1; ROS; Scutellaria baicalensis rhizome; antioxidant; apoptosis

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