Deregulation of versican and elastin binding protein in solar elastosis.Biogerontology. 2009 Apr; 10(2):181-90.B
Several changes in skin appearance including loss of elasticity and wrinkle formation are associated with alterations in the composition of the dermal extracellular matrix. They are induced by intrinsic aging or by environmental factors such as UV light referred to as photoaging. A general characteristic in the histology of photoaged skin is the accumulation of elastotic material suggesting impaired formation and/or massive breakdown of elastic fibres. In order to shed light on some of the underlying mechanisms we tracked two of the major players in elastic fibre formation in different skin conditions: EBP (elastin binding protein), a regulator of elastic fibre assembly and VER (versican), a component of functional elastic fibres as well as non-functional elastotic material. Using quantitative RT-PCR on skin biopsies we found that the expression levels of VER and EBP were unaltered during intrinsic skin aging. Upon acute UV stress however, VER and EBP showed different regulation patterns: VER mRNA increased after 6 h and was further up-regulated until 24 h. The EBP mRNA by contrast was reduced after 6 h but showed massive induction at 24 h after acute UV stress. In chronically sun-exposed skin, VER protein was accumulated similar to elastotic material in the extracellular space, whereas its mRNA level was consistently reduced compared to sun-protected skin. The EBP mRNA by contrast showed slightly increased expression levels in the sun-exposed area compared to its sun-protected counterpart. Based on these data we propose a model which may help to explain parts of the mechanisms leading to the formation of elastotic masses. We further hypothesize that the presence of elastotic material triggers some yet unknown feedback mechanism(s) resulting in altered expression patterns of VER and EBP in chronically sun-exposed skin.