Porphyrin Metabolisms in Human Skin Commensal Propionibacterium acnes Bacteria: Potential Application to Monitor Human Radiation Risk

Author(s): M. Shu, S. Kuo, Y. Wang, Y. Jiang, Y.-T. Liu, R.L. Gallo, C.-M. Huang

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 20 , Issue 4 , 2013

Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor


Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), a Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium, is a commensal organism in human skin. Like human cells, the bacteria produce porphyrins, which exhibit fluorescence properties and make bacteria visible with a Wood's lamp. In this review, we compare the porphyrin biosynthesis in humans and P. acnes. Also, since P. acnes living on the surface of skin receive the same radiation exposure as humans, we envision that the changes in porphyrin profiles (the absorption spectra and/or metabolism) of P. acnes by radiation may mirror the response of human cells to radiation. The porphyrin profiles of P. acnes may be a more accurate reflection of radiation risk to the patient than other biodosimeters/biomarkers such as gene up-/down-regulation, which may be non-specific due to patient related factors such as autoimmune diseases. Lastly, we discuss the challenges and possible solutions for using the P. acnes response to predict the radiation risk.

Keywords: Biomarker, biosynthesis, commensal bacteria, cancer, gamma radiation, microbiome, P. acnes, porphyrins, radiation risk, skin

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2013
Published on: 17 January, 2013
Page: [562 - 568]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/0929867311320040007
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 20