Ultraviolet light induces the expression of oncogenes in rat fibroblast and human keratinocyte cells

Oncogene. 1988 Feb;2(2):201-4.


The exposure of a polyoma virus transformed rat fibroblast cell line H3 to UV-C irradiation (254 nm) causes a transient increase in the abundance of RNAs for the cellular oncogenes c-H-ras, c-myc and c-fos, as well as RNAs homologous to an endogenous rat leukemia virus-related sequence (RaLV). Treatment with cycloheximide also causes a transient increase in the c-H-ras, c-myc and RaLV RNAs, with a time course similar to that obtained with UV irradiation. UV-C irradiation also causes a transient increase in the RNAs for c-H-ras and c-myc in an SV40 transformed human keratinocyte cell line SVK-14. Dose response studies with UV light at the various wavelengths found in sunlight indicate that UV-B (270-330 nm) and UV-A (345-440 nm) are much less potent than UV-C in inducing increased levels of c-H-ras and c-myc RNAs in SVK-14 cells. Thus, in addition to the well known mutagenic effects of UV irradiation, UV damage to DNA can also lead to increased expression of cellular oncogenes in both rodent fibroblasts and human keratinocytes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Oncogenes*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rats
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Cycloheximide