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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Medical School
Department of Neuroscience

PI: George L. Wilcox, Fellow
Co-PI: Elhabib Benlhabib

Identification of Epidermal Protein Targets for Skin Cancer Prevention

Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation of the skin can alter gene transcription and translation to protein as well as induce post-translational modifications of proteins in cutaneous cells. Although long-term consequences of these changes include skin cancer, premature aging, and suppression of immune function, part of the skin’s response to UV light can also serve to protect against further UV-induced damage. Understanding the relative positive and negative consequences of UV exposure requires a full accounting of the protein warehouse of cutaneous cells, termed their proteome. These researchers wanted to enumerate the proteome of the predominant epidermal cell, the keratinocyte, maintained in primary culture, before and at several times after UV irradiation. To place these in vitro data in context with the whole organism, the project also cataloged the proteome of epidermis from healthy volunteers before and at several times after UV irradiation of forearms. This project paired a leading cutaneous photobiology laboratory at Mayo with the proteomic facility at the University of Minnesota to synergistically examine this largely unexplored area.