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PLoS One. 2019 Jan 25;14(1):e0205215. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205215. eCollection 2019.

Cell type-specific differences in redox regulation and proliferation after low UVA doses.

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Biosystems Group, Institute of Automatic Control, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland.


Ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation is harmful for living organisms but in low doses may stimulate cell proliferation. Our aim was to examine the relationships between exposure to different low UVA doses, cellular proliferation, and changes in cellular reactive oxygen species levels. In human colon cancer (HCT116) and melanoma (Me45) cells exposed to UVA doses comparable to environmental, the highest doses (30-50 kJ/m2) reduced clonogenic potential but some lower doses (1 and 10 kJ/m2) induced proliferation. This effect was cell type and dose specific. In both cell lines the levels of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide fluctuated with dynamics which were influenced differently by UVA; in Me45 cells decreased proliferation accompanied the changes in the dynamics of H2O2 while in HCT116 cells those of superoxide. Genes coding for proteins engaged in redox systems were expressed differently in each cell line; transcripts for thioredoxin, peroxiredoxin and glutathione peroxidase showed higher expression in HCT116 cells whereas those for glutathione transferases and copper chaperone were more abundant in Me45 cells. We conclude that these two cell types utilize different pathways for regulating their redox status. Many mechanisms engaged in maintaining cellular redox balance have been described. Here we show that the different cellular responses to a stimulus such as a specific dose of UVA may be consequences of the use of different redox control pathways. Assays of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide level changes after exposure to UVA may clarify mechanisms of cellular redox regulation and help in understanding responses to stressing factors.

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