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Biochem Biophys Rep. 2017 Apr 6;10:172-177. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrep.2017.04.002. eCollection 2017 Jul.

Ultraviolet radiation reduces desmosine cross-links in elastin.

Author information

1
The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, Department of Physics, New York, New York, USA.
2
Department of Physics, Brooklyn College of The City University of New York, Brooklyn, New York, USA.
3
The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, Department of Chemistry, New York, New York, USA.
4
York College of The City University of New York, Department of Chemistry, Jamaica, New York, USA.
5
College of Physical Science and Technology, Dalian University, Dalian, China.
6
The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, Department of Biochemistry, New York, New York, USA.
7
New York Structural Biology Center, 89 Convent Ave, New York, NY, USA.

Abstract

Elastic fibers, a major component of the extracellular matrix of the skin, are often exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation throughout mammalian life. We report on an in vitro study of the alterations in bovine nuchal ligament elastic fibers resulting from continuous UV-A exposure by the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM), histology, mass spectrometry, and solid state 13C NMR methodologies. TEM images reveal distinct cracks in elastic fibers as a result of UV-A irradiation and histological measurements show a disruption in the regular array of elastic fibers present in unirradiated samples; elastic fibers appear shorter, highly fragmented, and thinner after UV-A treatment. Magic angle spinning 13C NMR was applied to investigate possible secondary structural changes or dynamics in the irradiated samples; our spectra reveal no differences between UV-A irradiated and non-irradiated samples. Lastly, MALDI mass spectrometry indicates that the concentration of desmosine, which forms cross-links in elastin, is observed to decrease by 11 [Formula: see text] following 9 days of continuous UV-A irradiation, in comparison to unirradiated samples. These alterations presumably play a significant role in the loss of elasticity observed in UV exposed skin.

KEYWORDS:

Elastic fiber; Elastin; MALDI; Nuclear magnetic resonance; Ultraviolet radiation

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