It is an intriguing problem whether heat shock proteins (HSPs) play a protective role in UVC-induced cell death in human cells, and the problem has not been solved. To search for the HSPs involved in UVC resistance, gene expression profiles using cDNA array were compared between UVC-sensitive human RSa cells and their UVC-resistant variant APr-1 cells. The expression levels of heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) were lower in RSa cells than in AP r-1 cells. RSa cells transfected with sense HSP27 cDNA showed slightly lower sensitivity to UVC-induced cell death than the control cells transfected with a vector alone and much lower sensitivity than RSa cells transfected with the antisense HSP27 cDNA. Furthermore, the removal capacities of the two major types of UVC-damaged DNA (thymine dimers and (6-4)photoproducts) in the cells with the up-regulation of HSP27 were moderately elevated compared with those in the control cells, while those in the cells with down-regulation were remarkably suppressed. These results suggest that HSP27 is involved in the UVC-resistance of human cells, at least those tested, possibly via functioning in nucleotide excision repair.
- Human cells
- Thymine dimers