Major biological effects of UVB are attributed to cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), the most common photolesions formed on DNA. To investigate the contribution of CPDs to UVB-induced changes of gene expression, a model system was established by transfecting keratinocytes with pseudouridine-modified mRNA (ψ-mRNA) encoding CPD-photolyase. Microarray analyses of this model system demonstrated that more than 50% of the gene expression altered by UVB was mediated by CPD photolesions. Functional classification of the gene targets revealed strong effects of CPDs on the regulation of the cell cycle and transcriptional machineries. To confirm the microarray data, cell cycle-regulatory genes, CCNE1 and CDKN2B that were induced exclusively by CPDs were selected for further investigation. Following UVB irradiation, expression of these genes increased significantly at both mRNA and protein levels, but not in cells transfected with CPD-photolyase ψ-mRNA and exposed to photoreactivating light. Treatment of cells with inhibitors of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) blocked the UVB-dependent upregulation of both genes suggesting a role for JNK in relaying the signal of UVB-induced CPDs into transcriptional responses. Thus, photolyase mRNA-based experimental platform demonstrates CPD-dependent and -independent events of UVB-induced cellular responses, and, as such, has the potential to identify novel molecular targets for treatment of UVB-mediated skin diseases.,
Department of Molecular Genetics

Boros, G., Miko, E., Muramatsu, H., Weissman, D., Emri, E., van der Horst, G., … Remenyik, É. (2015). Identification of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer-responsive genes using UVB-irradiated human keratinocytes transfected with in vitro-synthesized photolyase mRNA. PLoS ONE, 10(6). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131141