Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) triggers a cascade of events involving cell cycle control genes leading ultimately to DNA repair or apoptosis. The hypothesis examined here is that the genetic abnormality predisposing to melanoma affects the ability of the cell to respond appropriately to UV-B, so favouring mutagenesis. Epstein-Barr virus-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines from hereditary melanoma kindreds were irradiated with UV-B, and changes in p53, p21 and Bcl-2 expression and cell cycle phase distribution were analysed. Twenty-two cell lines were tested: 12 carriers of melanoma susceptibility and 10 non-carriers (unaffected first degree relatives). At 24 h after irradiation with 50 J/m2, 15 of the 22 cell lines showed a rise in G2/M. After 400 J/m2, all the cell lines showed a reduction or loss of G2/M and 17 of the 22 showed an S phase delay. More carriers than non-carriers of melanoma susceptibility showed significant S phase delay after 50 J/m2 (seven out of 12 carriers versus two out of 10 non-carriers). Six of the 10 pairs (carrier versus non-carrier) tested showed discordant cell cycle responses; however the nature of the difference was not universal. Bcl-2 reduction was seen 4 h post-irradiation in all the carriers and non-carriers. The p53 and p21 responses, although showing some individual variations, were not related to carrier status. These results show individual variations in response to UV-B irradiation among cell lines from the members of hereditary melanoma kindreds, but no consistent differences between carriers and non-carriers of melanoma susceptibility.
- Cell cycle
- Hereditary melanoma