Study reveals novel mechanism by which UVA contributes to photoaging of skin

April 25, 2013

A study conducted by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) provides new evidence that longwave ultraviolet light (UVA) induces a protein that could result in premature skin aging. The findings demonstrate that aspects of photoaging, the process of skin aging by chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation, could be linked to genetic factors that accelerate the aging process when induced by the environment.

The study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, was led by BUSM co-authors Thomas M. Ruenger MD, PhD, professor and vice chair of the department of dermatology, and Hirotaka Takeuchi, MS.

Photoaging is attributed to continuous exposure to UVA and shortwave ultraviolet light (UVB) rays over a long period of time and affects skin surfaces most often exposed to sunlight, including the face, ears, hands and neck. The UVA or can be from the sun or from synthetic sources, such as tanning beds. Progerin is a protein that has been associated with both normal and abnormal aging. In , a genetic disorder characterized by a vast acceleration of aging of most organs, expression and accumulation of progerin is caused by a mutation in the Lamin A gene.

In this study, skin cells were cultured and exposed to UVB or UVA rays and then examined for expression and accumulation of progerin. The results showed that progerin is induced by ultraviolet light, specifically UVA rays, and that this induction is mediated by reactive causing alternative splicing of the LaminA gene pre-mRNA.

"This, to our knowledge, is the first time that induction of progerin is described in response to an external agent," said Ruenger, who also is professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at BUSM and a dermatologist at Boston Medical Center. "Our results reveal a novel mechanism by which UVA rays, which are often emitted from , may play a role in the acceleration of photoaging of the skin."

The researchers also note that some aspects of photoaging should be regarded as a process of damage-accelerated intrinsic aging and that intrinsic and extrinsic aging are interdependent.

Explore further: Tanning beds could provide a greater risk than originally thought: new study

Related Stories

Human skin begins tanning in seconds, and here's how

November 3, 2011

We all know that human skin tans after days spent in the sun. That relatively slow process has known links to ultraviolet (and specifically UVB) exposure, which leads to tanning only after it damages the DNA of skin cells. ...

Recommended for you

Cellphone data can track infectious diseases

August 20, 2015

Tracking mobile phone data is often associated with privacy issues, but these vast datasets could be the key to understanding how infectious diseases are spread seasonally, according to a study published in the Proceedings ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.