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Melanin offers protection against induction of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and 6-4 photoproducts by UVB in cultured human melanocytes

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Author: Smit, N.P.M. · Vink, A.A. · Kolb, R.M. · Steenwinkel, M.J.S.T. · Berg, P.T.M. van den · Nieuwpoort, F. van · Roza, L. · Pavel, S.
Institution: Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Source:Photochemistry and Photobiology, 3, 74, 424-430
Identifier: 87614
doi: DOI:10.1562/0031-8655(2001)074<0424:MOPAIO>2.0.CO;2
Keywords: Nutrition · Cells, Cultured · DNA Damage · DNA Repair · Melanins · Melanocytes · Photobiology · Pyrimidine Dimers · Skin Pigmentation · Ultraviolet Rays


The goal of this investigation was to correlate the melanin content in human pigmentary cells with the generation of UVB-induced photoproducts and to examine the relationship between the melanin content and the removal of the photoproducts. Cultured melanocytes from light-skinned individuals synthesized less melanin and produced more cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and 6-4 photoproducts upon UVB exposure than did melanocytes from black skin. Tyrosine-stimulated melanogenesis provided protection against DNA damage in both cell types. In another set of pigmented cell lines a ratio between eumelanin and pheomelanin was determined. The assessment of association between DNA damage induction and the quantity and quality of melanin revealed that eumelanin concentration correlated better with DNA protection than pheomelanin. Skin type-I and skin type-VI melanocytes, congenital nevus (CN)-derived cells and skin type-II melanocytes from a multiple-melanoma patient were grown in media with low or high L-tyrosine concentration. The cells were irradiated with 200 J/m2 UVB, and the levels of the photoproducts were determined immediately and after 6 and 24 h. Once again the induction of the photoproducts was mitigated by increased melanogenesis, and it was inversely correlated with the skin type. No significant differences were found for the removal of photoproducts in the cultures of skin types I and VI and CN cells. No indications of a delay in the removal of photoproducts in the melanocytes from the multiple-melanoma patient were found either. Chemicals/CAS: melanin, 8049-97-6; tyrosine, 16870-43-2, 55520-40-6, 60-18-4; Melanins; Pyrimidine Dimers