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The roles of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes in UVA-induced oxidative stress in human skin cells compared to other cell types

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Amy Bowman, Professor Mark Birch-MachinORCiD, Dr SarahJayne Boulton



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Increased cellular oxidative stress is thought to be an underlying cause of the carcinogenic and ageing process in many tissues including skin. The mitochondrial respiratory chain is the major cellular generator of superoxide and downstream reactive oxygen species (ROS). However there has been controversy regarding the most important sites of ROS production within the respiratory chain complexes; furthermore, the majority of studies have focussed on rat and human tissues other than skin. In a novel approach we have used an array of specific metabolic inhibitors to study the relative roles of these respiratory chain complexes in cellular ROS production which was further enhanced by exposure to physiological levels of UVA. The effects within skin cells were compared to other cell types (e.g. liver) as well as established cell types harbouring a compromised mitochondrial status (i.e. Rho-zero). The inhibition profiles strongly suggested that the role of complex II (succinate-ubiquinone oxidoreductase) particularly in skin cells (where there is a two-fold higher complex II activity P<0.001) appeared to be more important than previously thought. Furthermore, its activity appeared to decline within an ageing model of altered telomerase activity in agreement with the widely accepted decline of bioenergy with increasing age

Publication metadata

Author(s): Anderson A, Bowman A, Manning P, Birch-Machin MA, Boulton SJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Redox Biology

Year: 2014

Volume: 2

Pages: 1016-1022

Online publication date: 28/08/2014

Acceptance date: 25/08/2014

Date deposited: 24/01/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2213-2317

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016%2Fj.redox.2014.08.005

Notes: Birch-Machin is corresponding and senior author


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