Bcl-2 is a member of the large Bcl-2 family and protects cells from apoptosis. Ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation induces apoptosis of keratinocytes that is known as “sunburn cells.” Previously we reported that UVB irradiation induces apoptosis accompanied by sequential activation of caspase 8, 3 and 1 in keratinocytes, and that the process is inhibited by various caspase inhibitors. Using bcl-2–expressing adenovirus vector we investigated the effect of Bcl-2 on UVB-induced apoptosis. Adenovirus vector efficiently introduced bcl-2 gene in cultured normal mouse keratinocytes (NMK cells); almost all NMK cells (1 × 106) were transfected at 1 × 108 plaque-forming unit (PFU)/mL. Bcl-2–transfected NMK cells were significantly resistant to UVB-induced apoptosis with the suppressive effect dependent on the Bcl-2 expression level. Following UVB irradiation caspase 8, 3 and 9 activities were stimulated in NMK cells, whereas in bcl-2–transfected cells only caspase 8, but not caspase 3 or 9, activity was stimulated. In order to investigate the effect of Bcl-2 in vivo topical application of Ad-bcl-2 on tape-stripped mouse skin was performed. Following the application Bcl-2 was efficiently overexpressed in almost all viable keratinocytes. The expression was transient with the maximal expression of Bcl-2 on the first day following the application of 1 × 109 PFU in 200 μL. The introduced Bcl-2 remained at least for 6 days. UVB irradiation (1250 J/m2) induced apoptosis within 12 h and the maximal effect was observed at 24 h in control mouse skin. Both bcl-2–transfected and topical caspase 3 inhibitor-treated mice skin were resistant to UVB-induced apoptosis. The suppressive effect of Bcl-2 was more potent than that of caspase 3 inhibitor application. Topical application of empty adenovirus vector alone had no effect on Bcl-2 expression or UVB-induced apoptosis. These results indicate that adenovirus vector is an efficient gene delivery system into keratinocytes and that Bcl-2 is a potent inhibitor of UVB-induced apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo.
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1 October 2001
In Vitro and In Vivo Transfer of bcl-2 Gene into Keratinocytes Suppresses UVB-induced Apoptosis
Photochemistry and Photobiology
Vol. 74 • No. 4
Vol. 74 • No. 4