Cyanidin suppresses ultraviolet B-induced COX-2 expression in epidermal cells by targeting MKK4, MEK1, and Raf-1.

Research paper by Jong-Eun JE Kim, Jung Yeon JY Kwon, Sang Kwon SK Seo, Joe Eun JE Son, Sung Keun SK Jung, So Yun SY Min, Mun Kyung MK Hwang, Yong-Seok YS Heo, Ki Won KW Lee, Hyong Joo HJ Lee

Indexed on: 26 Jan '10Published on: 26 Jan '10Published in: Biochemical Pharmacology


Skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays (wavelength: 280-320nm) play a pivotal role in the development of skin cancer by inducing the expression of inflammatory proteins such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Cyanidin, the most plentiful of the plant pigments known as anthocyanidins, is a potent chemopreventive agent. In the present study, we examined the molecular mechanisms underlying the chemopreventive activity of cyanidin and identified its molecular targets. Cyanidin inhibited UVB-induced COX-2 expression and prostaglandin E(2) secretion in the epidermal skin cell line JB6 P+ by suppressing the transactivation of nuclear factor-kappaB and activator protein-1 which are well-known transcription factors regulated by mitogen-activated protein kinase. Cyanidin markedly inhibited the phosphorylation of JNK1/2, ERK1/2, and MEK1/2 than the of MKK4 and Raf-1, two upstream kinases of JNK1/2, ERK1/2, and MEK1/2. Cyanidin significantly suppressed the activities of MKK4, MEK1, and Raf-1 through direct binding. Transient transfection of a small interfering RNA specific for MKK4 inhibited the UVB-induced expression of COX-2 in JB6 P+ cells, as did the expression of a dominant-negative ERK2 mutant. We conclude that MKK4, MEK1, and Raf-1 are targets of cyanidin for the suppression of UVB-induced COX-2 expression.