DNA-damage during photo(chemo)therapy studied by comet-assay

G. Emri, E. Remenyik, Cs Varga, J. Hunyadi, I. Horkay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


UVB-phototherapy and photochemotherapy (PUVA, 8-methoxypsoralen plus UVA-irradiation) have been widely used for the treatment of various skin diseases for many years. The mechanism of the biological effects of UV-light, which contributes to the therapeutic efficiency, is not well understood, particularly for PUVA. The DNA is one of the essential UV-targets within the cell. The aim of the present study was to investigate DNA damage and repair following the treatment of HaCaT-cells by PUVA in comparison with the effects of UVB and UVA-irradiation. Single cell gel electrophoresis (the comet assay) was used to evaluate DNA strand breaks and alkali labile sites caused by UV or PUVA. Our results suggest that the mechanism of the effects of UVB and UVA for the formation and repair of DNA damage is quite different from that of PUVA. Immediately after irradiation, comet formation was seen only in the case of UVA (0-5 J/cm2). After UVB (0-60 mJ/cm2), comet formation was detected only l h after irradiation, when the length and intensity of the comet in UVA-irradiated cells were considerably diminished. Neither UVA nor UVB caused DNA-damage detectable by neutral comet-assay within the dose ranges studied. After PUVA-trcatment (300 ng/ml 8-MOP and 2 J/cm2 UVA) we observed increasing comet-formation with a peak of 1.5 h after irradiation by neutral assay, then the comet-tails decreased slowly during the next few hours. These findings suggest that UVA and UVB induce DNA single strand breaks before and during DNA repair, respectively, whereas DNA double strand breaks are occurred following PUVA treatment. It is hypothesised that these latter DNA lesions are repair intermediary products of the DNA cross-links caused by PUVA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-107
Number of pages2
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1999



  • Neutral comet assay
  • UV- and PUVA-induced DNA strand breaks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Emri, G., Remenyik, E., Varga, C., Hunyadi, J., & Horkay, I. (1999). DNA-damage during photo(chemo)therapy studied by comet-assay. Neoplasma, 46(SUPPL. 1), 106-107.