Biochimica et biophysica acta. Reviews on cancer vol:1755 issue:2 pages:90-106
Epidemiological and experimental evidences have established solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation as the leading cause of skin cancers. Specifically, the frequency of non-melanoma skin cancer, one of the malignancies with the most rapidly increasing incidence, is directly related to the total exposure to solar UV light. As part of a general effort to elucidate the components of cellular signal transduction pathways, the mechanisms of cellular responses to UV radiation have received considerable attention over the last few years. These efforts were driven mainly by the conviction that understanding how normal cells respond to extracellular stimuli such as exposure to UV radiation will undoubtedly help in deciphering what goes wrong in a variety of clinical disorders including skin cancers and will assist in the development of novel therapeutic strategies. Studies over the last decade have established that UV radiation induces a bewildering array of signal transduction pathways, some of which could lead to apoptotic cell death. UV-induced cell death by apoptosis is considered to be a natural protective mechanism that removes damaged keratinocytes and circumvents the risk of malignant transformation. In this review, we summarize some of the most important findings regarding the response and role of mitogen-activated protein kinases in UVA and UVB radiation-induced signaling to apoptosis in keratinocytes. We will also briefly discuss what is known about the role of the BCL-2 family of proteins, the emerging role of lysosomal proteases and other important cytosolic signaling proteins in UV-induced apoptosis.