Feb 1, 1994

Cellular and molecular mechanisms in photochemical sensitization: studies on the mechanism of action of psoralens

Food and Chemical Toxicology : an International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
J D Laskin


The interaction of chemicals and light to induce sensitization reactions in the skin is a complex multistep process resulting in physiological changes in both the dermal and epidermal cell layers as well as characteristic inflammatory reactions. It is becoming increasingly apparent that an array of growth factors and cytokines acting on different components of the skin are involved in the regulation of these processes. One of the best characterized classes of chemical photosensitizers are the psoralens, a group of compounds that must be activated by UV light in wavelengths ranging from 320 to 400 nm (UVA) to initiate their biological actions. Recent evidence suggests that the ability of the psoralens to induce sensitization reactions, which include alterations in epidermal cell growth and differentiation, is highly specific and due to interactions with the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor. Specific receptor proteins for the psoralens have been identified in cytoplasmic and membrane fractions of responsive cells. Binding of psoralens to these proteins is of high affinity and reversible. UVA light causes psoralens to photoalkylate their receptors, a process thought to activate the receptor. One early biochemical event at th...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Hormone Receptors, Cell Surface
Cell Division Phases
Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
Signal Transduction
Plasma Membrane
Psoralen receptor
Actinic Reticuloid

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