Anti-Pollutant Activity of Porphyra yezoensis Water Extract and Its Active Compound, Porphyra 334, against Urban Particulate Matter-Induced Keratinocyte Cell Damage

Mar Drugs. 2023 Feb 13;21(2):121. doi: 10.3390/md21020121.


Urban particulate matter (UPM) causes skin aging and inflammatory reactions by influencing skin cells through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling pathway. Porphyra yezoensis (also known as Pyropia yezoensis), a red alga belonging to the Bangiaceae family, is an edible red seaweed. Here, we examined the anti-pollutant effect of P. yezoensis water extract. While UPM treatment induced xenobiotic response element (XRE) promoter luciferase activity, P. yezoensis water extract reduced UPM-induced XRE activity. Next, we isolated an active compound from P. yezoensis and identified it as porphyra 334. Similar to the P. yezoensis water extract, porphyra 334 attenuated UPM-induced XRE activity. Moreover, although UPM augmented AhR nuclear translocation, which led to an increase in cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) mRNA levels, these effects were reduced by porphyra 334. Moreover, UPM induced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reduced cell proliferation. These effects were attenuated in response to porphyra 334 treatment. Furthermore, our results revealed that the increased ROS levels induced by UPM treatment induced transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) activity, which is related to skin aging and inflammatory responses. However, porphyra 334 treatment reduced this reaction by inhibiting ROS production induced by CYP1A1 activation. This indicates that porphyra 334, an active compound of P. yezoensis, attenuates UP-induced cell damage by inhibiting AhR-induced ROS production, which results in a reduction in TRPV1 activation, leading to cell proliferation. This also suggests that porphyra 334 could protect the epidermis from harmful pollutants.

Keywords: aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR); porphyra 334; reactive oxygen species (ROS); transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1); urban particulate matter (UPM).

MeSH terms

  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / metabolism
  • Environmental Pollutants*
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Particulate Matter
  • Porphyra* / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Water


  • Particulate Matter
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Water