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14-01-2010 | Dermatology | Article

Angiopoietin-1 blocks free radical damage to skin cells


Free abstract

MedWire News: The protein angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) blocks free radical induced damage to skin cells and could prove therapeutically useful for prevention or reduction of photodamage and skin cancer, report researchers.

“A major cause of UV light–induced damage to skin is increased free radicals, such as superoxides,” say Susan Dallabrida (Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and team.

“Increased superoxides can cause oxidative and nitrative damage to cell components. Thus, agents that counteract these damages may have therapeutic value.”

The researchers treated human spontaneously immortalized keratinocyte cells with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to assess whether Ang1 influences H2O2-induced increases in reactive oxygen species that can cause oxidative damage to skin cells.

Using multi-gene transcriptional profiling, the team found that the skin cells expressed integrin subunits. Integrin antibodies were produced which disrupted skin cell adhesion to Ang-1, which then acted to reduce the level of superoxides.

Ang1 acted to prevent H2O2-induced increases in reactive oxygen species, “suggesting that ang1 has therapeutic use in protective strategies (ie, sunscreen, anti-aging),” write Dallabrida et al.

Of note, Ang-1 blocked reactive oxygen species increases even after H2O2-induced oxidative damage had already occurred, suggesting it may have a therapeutic role for reduction of damage as well as prevention.

“In summary, Ang1 reduced H2O2-induced reactive oxygen levels and oxidative damage to skin cell proteins and DNA and promoted skin cell adhesion, signaling, and viability,” conclude the authors in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

“A leading theory of aging is based on chronic accumulation of oxidative damage that compromises organelle, cell, and organ function. Thus, Ang1 may attenuate aging,” they add.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert