Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
We have previously characterized the role of p16/Rb in coordinating the early events in UVB-irradiated skin. As an extension to this work, normal melanocytes and mutant p16-inducible melanoma cell models were employed to elucidate further the coordinated molecular mechanisms occurring during early UVB exposure. Our results showed that melanocytes expressed p16 only at a high UVB dose, with undetectable p53. The Bax/Bcl2 ratio increased at higher dose, indicating that the cells had selected apoptosis program. In the wt-p16 melanoma cells, while low UVB dose upregulated p16, the high dose suppressed it, and further abrogated Cdk6 but not Cdk4. Interestingly, while induction of mutant-p16 increased Cdk4, cdk6 and pRb proteins, UVB exposure did not affect this increase. More interestingly, p16 mutant cells increased their resistance to apoptosis at high UVB-dose, associated with decreased Bax and increased Bcl2 expression. Thus, mutant-p16 appears to dictate a deregulation of cell cycle and increased resistance to apoptosis in melanoma cells. Together, the data indicate a deregulation of p16INK4/Rb pathway as an early event in UVB-induced melanomagenesis.