In humans, prolonged sunlight exposure is associated with various pathological states. The continuing drive to develop improved skin protection involves not only approaches to reduce DNA damage by solar ultraviolet B (UVB) but also the development of methodologies to provide protection against ultraviolet A (UVA), the oxidising component of sunlight. Furthermore identification of specific cellular events following ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is likely to provide clues as to the mechanism of the development of resulting pathologies and therefore strategies for protection. Our discovery that UVA radiation, leads to an immediate measurable increase in ‘labile’ iron in human skin fibroblasts and keratinocytes provides a new insight into UVA-induced skin damage, since iron is a catalyst of biological oxidations. The main purpose of this overview is to bring together some of the new findings related to mechanisms underlying UVA-induced iron release and to discuss novel approaches based on the use of multiantioxidants and light-activated caged-iron chelators for efficient protection of skin cells against UVA-induced iron damage.
Keywords: UVA, skin, oxidative stress, ROS, iron, iron chelator, antioxidant, lysosome
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