Review

Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Activation in UV-Induced Signal Transduction

STKE  28 Jan 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 167, pp. re2
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2003.167.re2

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Abstract

Experimental evidence supported by epidemiological findings suggests that solar ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is the most important environmental carcinogen leading to the development of skin cancers. Because the ozone layer blocks UVC (wavelength, 180 to 280 nm) exposure, UVA (UVA I, 340 to 400 nm; UVA II, 320 to 340 nm) and UVB (280 to 320 nm) are probably the chief carcinogenic components of sunlight with relevance for human skin cancer. Substantial contributions to the elucidation of the specific signal transduction pathways involved in UV-induced skin carcinogenesis have been made over the past few years, and most evidence suggests that the cellular signaling response is UV wavelength-dependent. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling cascades are targets for UV and are important in the regulation of the multitude of UV-induced cellular responses. Experimental studies have used a range of UVA, UVB, UVC, and various combinations in multiple doses, and the observed effects on activation and phosphorylation of MAPKs are varied. This review focuses on the mechanistic data supporting a role for MAPKs in UV-induced skin carcinogenesis. Progress in understanding the mechanisms of UV-induced signal transduction could lead to the use of these protein kinases as specific targets for the prevention and control of skin cancer.

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