Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
The ultraviolet radiation (UVR) present in sunlight is the most common environmental carcinogen, and long-term exposure to UVR can lead to skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. To develop better methods of protection from the sun, we need to understand how the human skin detects and responds to UVR. A study in The Journal of General Physiology provides new insight into the molecular pathway underlying this process.
Skin cells called melanocytes respond to UVR by increasing the skin's pigmentation, a protective mechanism otherwise known as tanning. But the exact details of the early stages of the response to UVR are poorly understood. Now, researchers from Brown University have identified key elements of the UVR-activated pathway in skin.
The researchers identified a specific protein involved in mediating the skin's response to UVR as well as some downstream elements in the pathway. Intriguingly, their data suggest that, in melanocytes responding to UVR, the signal transduction cascade (the process by which an external stimulus leads to a response inside a cell) resembles a light-activated pathway in the eye.
More research is needed to identify other key players in this newly characterized UVR response pathway. As these remaining gaps are filled, researchers can use the information to develop better methods for protecting the human skin from the damaging effects of sun exposure.
UV light activates a Gαq/11-coupled phototransduction pathway in human melanocytes. Bellono, N.W., et al. 2014. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.201311094
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Dermatology category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Rockefeller University Press. "Improved understanding of UVR response pathway providing clues to improving skin protection from sun exposure." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 29 Jan. 2014. Web.
7 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271789>
Rockefeller University Press. (2014, January 29). "Improved understanding of UVR response pathway providing clues to improving skin protection from sun exposure." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/271789.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.