Mechanisms of UV-induced signal transduction

J Dermatol. 2002 Apr;29(4):189-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2002.tb00248.x.


Ultraviolet radiation (UV) causes a variety of biological effects that can be either beneficial or harmful for human health. To exert these effects on a cellular basis, UV uses a variety of signaling pathways. DNA is the major chromophore for UVB. Thus, nuclear DNA damage has been detected to be a major mediator of numerous UVB effects, and experimental reduction of DNA damage is associated with a loss of these effects. On the other hand, UV has been found to utilize molecular components within the cytoplasm or at the cell membrane for signaling. UV can directly activate cell surface receptors, kinases, and transcription factors. The nuclear and extranuclear signaling pathways are generated independently and have been recently recognized to be not mutually exclusive but to contribute to various UV effects in an independent and additive way. Further knowledge of how these signaling pathways relate to each other will certainly increase our understanding of how UV acts as a pathogen. The following review will briefly discuss current aspects of the mechanisms involved in UV-induced signal transduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • DNA Damage / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / radiation effects
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / radiation effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects*
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Transcriptional Activation / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Receptors, Cell Surface