Ultraviolet (UV) B radiation is a dangerous environmental stressor, which can lead to photoaging, inflammation, immune suppression and tumour formation. A recent report has shown the transcriptional activation of several skin-specific genes including matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) in response to UV irradiation. Here, we use a novel human keratinocyte model, HKerE6SFM, to demonstrate that UVB activates the transcription of most members of the 11q22.3 MMP gene cluster including MMP13, MMP12, MMP3, MMP1 and MMP10. Curiously, the expression of the well-characterized UVB-inducible MMP9, which is located outside of the cluster, remains unchanged. In accordance with the increased expression of the MMP gene cluster upon UVB irradiation, RNA polymerase II showed increased occupancy at their promoters following UVB irradiation. The results also demonstrate increased acetylated histone H3K9 levels at the promoters of the MMP13, MMP12, MMP3, MMP1 and MMP10 genes. These findings suggest a coordinated transcriptional activation of genes in the MMP cluster at 11q22.3 and that acetylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 has an important role in the UVB-dependent enhancement of transcription of MMP genes in this region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas