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Biol Chem. 1997 Nov;378(11):1247-57.

UV-induced reactive oxygen species in photocarcinogenesis and photoaging.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Cologne, Germany.


The increase in UV irradiation on earth due to the stratospheric ozone depletion represents a major environmental threat to the skin increasing its risk of photooxidative damage by UV-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS). Increased ROS load has been implicated in several pathological states including photoaging and photocarcinogenesis of the skin. Large efforts have been made to better define the involvement of distinct ROS in photocarcinogenesis and photoaging. Both pathological processes share common features; however, they reveal unique molecular characteristics which finally determine the fate of the cell and its host. As well as causing permanent genetic changes involving protooncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, ROS activate cytoplasmic signal transduction pathways that are related to growth differentiation, senescence, transformation and tissue degradation. This review focuses on the role of UV-induced ROS in the photodamage of the skin resulting in biochemical and clinical characteristics of photocarcinogenesis and photoaging. A decrease in the ROS load by efficient sunscreens and/or otherwise protective agents may represent a promising strategy to prevent or at least minimize ROS induced cutaneous pathological states.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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