Experimental dermatology

Endothelin-1 protects human melanocytes from UV-induced DNA damage by activating JNK and p38 signalling pathways.

PMID 25607638


Endothelin-1 is a paracrine factor with mitogenic, melanogenic and survival effects on cultured human melanocytes. We report that endothelin-1 signalling reduced the generation and enhanced the repair of ultraviolet radiation (UV)-induced DNA photoproducts, and inhibited apoptosis of human melanocytes, without increasing cAMP levels, melanin content or proliferation. Treatment with endothelin-1 activated the MAP kinases JNK and p38, as evidenced by phosphorylation of their target, activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2). Endothelin-1 also enhanced the phosphorylation of JNK, p38 and ATF-2 by UV. The effects of endothelin-1 were dependent on increasing intracellular calcium mobilization by endothelin B receptor signalling. Activation of both JNK and p38 was required for reducing DNA photoproducts, but only JNK partially contributed to the survival effect of endothelin-1. ATF-2 activation depended mainly on JNK, yet was not sufficient for the effect of endothelin-1 on UV-induced DNA damage, suggesting the requirement for other JNK and p38 targets for this effect. Our results underscore the significance of endothelin-1 and endothelin B receptor signalling in reducing the genotoxic effects of UV via activating JNK and p38, hence restoring genomic stability of melanocytes.