The Journal of biological chemistry

The role of constitutive nitric-oxide synthase in ultraviolet B light-induced nuclear factor κB activity.

PMID 25112869


NF-κB is a transcription factor involved in many signaling pathways that also plays an important role in UV-induced skin tumorigenesis. UV radiation can activate NF-κB, but the detailed mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we provided evidence that the activation of constitutive nitric-oxide synthase plays a role in regulation of IκB reduction and NF-κB activation in human keratinocyte HaCaT cells in early phase (within 6 h) post-UVB. Treating the cells with l-NAME, a selective inhibitor of constitutive nitric-oxide synthase (cNOS), can partially reverse the IκB reduction and inhibit the DNA binding activity as well as nuclear translocation of NF-κB after UVB radiation. A luciferase reporter assay indicates that UVB-induced NF-κB activation is totally diminished in cNOS null cells. The cNOS-mediated reduction of IκB is likely due to the imbalance of nitric oxide/peroxynitrite because treating the cells with lower (50 μm), but not higher (100-500 μm), concentration of S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP) can reverse the effect of l-NAME in partial restore IκB level post-UVB. Our data also showed that NF-κB activity was required for maintaining a stable IκB kinase α subunit (IKKα) level because treating the cells with NF-κB or cNOS inhibitors could reduce IKKα level upon UVB radiation. In addition, our data demonstrated that although NF-κB protects cells from UVB-induced death, its pro-survival activity was likely neutralized by the pro-death activity of peroxynitrite after UVB radiation.