Biological Role of Vitamin C in Keratinocytes

Authors

  • Maria Valeria Catani,

    1. Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Dr. Melino is with the IDI-IRCCS, Biochemistry Lab, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
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  • Isabella Savini,

    1. Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Dr. Melino is with the IDI-IRCCS, Biochemistry Lab, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
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  • Antonello Rossi,

    1. Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Dr. Melino is with the IDI-IRCCS, Biochemistry Lab, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
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  • Gerry Melino,

    1. Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Dr. Melino is with the IDI-IRCCS, Biochemistry Lab, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
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  • Luciana Avigliano

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; Dr. Melino is with the IDI-IRCCS, Biochemistry Lab, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
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*Department of Experimental Medicine & Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Via Mont-pellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy; Phone: 39–6–72596472; Fax: 39–6–72596379; E-mail: avigliano@uniroma2.it.

Abstract

Epidemiological studies have suggested an association between vitamin C (and other antioxidant vitamins) and cancer risk. However, the mechanisms accounting for prevention have not been extensively investigated. In skin, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) exerts different biological roles, including photoprotective effects and participation in collagen synthesis. This paper reports new findings about additional functions of the vitamin. Vitamin C counteracts oxidative stress via tran-scriptional and post-translational mechanisms; this modulation may interfere with the activity of redox-sensitive transcription factors, commitment to differentiation or cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis in response to DNA damage. All of these vitamin C-mediated responses might be important in different cell types, allowing for the maintenance of body homeostasis.

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