UV-induced DNA damage is an intermediate step in UV-induced expression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1, collagenase, c-fos, and metallothionein.


UV irradiation of human and murine cells enhances the transcription of several genes. Here we report on the primary target of relevant UV absorption, on pathways leading to gene activation, and on the elements receiving the UV-induced signal in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat, in the gene coding for collagenase, and in the cellular oncogene fos. In order to induce the expression of genes. UV radiation needs to be absorbed by DNA and to cause DNA damage of the kind that cannot be repaired by cells from patients with xeroderma pigmentosum group A. UV-induced activation of the three genes is mediated by the major enhancer elements (located between nucleotide positions -105 and -79 of HIV-1, between positions -72 and -65 of the collagenase gene, and between positions -320 and -299 of fos). These elements share no apparent sequence motif and bind different trans-acting proteins; a member of the NF kappa B family binds to the HIV-1 enhancer, the heterodimer of Jun and Fos (AP-1) binds to the collagenase enhancer, and the serum response factors p67 and p62 bind to fos. DNA-binding activities of the factors recognizing the HIV-1 and collagenase enhancers are augmented in extracts from UV-treated cells. The increase in activity is due to posttranslational modification. While AP-1 resides in the nucleus and must be modulated there, NF kappa B is activated in the cytoplasm, indicating the existence of a cytoplasmic signal transduction pathway triggered by UV-induced DNA damage. In addition to activation, new synthesis of AP-1 is induced by UV radiation.

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