JPET Highlight: Activation of Nrf2 Reduces UVA-Mediated MMP-1 Upregulation via MAPK/AP-1 Signaling Cascades
UVA irradiation plays a role in premature aging of the skin through triggering oxidative stress-associated stimulation of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) responsible for collagen degradation, a hallmark of photoaged skin. Compounds that can activate nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a transcription factor regulating antioxidant gene expression, should therefore serve as effective antiphotoaging agents. We investigated whether genetic silencing of Nrf2 could relieve UVA-mediated MMP-1 upregulation via activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/activator protein 1 (AP-1) signaling using human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT). Antiphotoaging effects of hispidulin (HPD) and sulforaphane (SFN) were assessed on their abilities to activate Nrf2 in controlling MMP-1 and collagen expressions in association with phosphorylation of MAPKs (extracellular signal-regulated kinase, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and p38), c-Jun, and c-Fos, using the skin of BALB/c mice subjected to repetitive UVA irradiation. Our findings suggested that depletion of Nrf2 promoted both mRNA expression and activity of MMP-1 in the UVA-irradiated HaCaT cells. Treatment of Nrf2 knocked-down HaCaT cells with MAPK inhibitors significantly suppressed UVA-induced MMP-1 and AP-1 activities. Moreover, pretreatment of the mouse skin with HPD and SFN, which could activate Nrf2, provided protective effects against UVA-mediated MMP-1 induction and collagen depletion in correlation with the decreased levels of phosphorylated MAPKs, c-Jun, and c-Fos in the mouse skin. In conclusion, Nrf2 could influence UVA-mediated MMP-1 upregulation through the MAPK/AP-1 signaling cascades. HPD and SFN may therefore represent promising antiphotoaging candidates.
See the open access article by Chaiprasongsuk et al. at Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics March 2017, 360 (3) 388-398; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1124/jpet.116.238048