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Keywords:

  • cAMP;
  • chick;
  • melatonin;
  • pineal gland;
  • proteasomal proteolysis;
  • serotonin N-acetyltransferase;
  • UV-A

Abstract:  Acute exposure of dark-adapted, cultured chick pineal glands to UV-A light significantly decreased the tissue cAMP concentration and the activity of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT), the penultimate and key regulatory enzyme in the melatonin biosynthetic pathway. The magnitude of these changes was dependent on the duration of UV-A exposure. The UV-A light-evoked decline in pineal AANAT activity was blocked by cAMP protagonists (forskolin and dibutyryl-cAMP) and by inhibitors of the proteasomal degradation pathway (MG-132, proteasome inhibitor I, and lactacystin). These results indicate that the chick pineal gland is directly sensitive to UV-A light. By analogy to white light, the suppressive action of UV-A radiation on AANAT activity in the chick pineal gland involves changes in the tissue cAMP level and enhanced proteasomal proteolysis.