Carboxyfullerenes protect human keratinocytes from ultraviolet-B-induced apoptosis

Cristiana Fumelli, Alessandra Marconi, Stefano Salvioli, Elisabetta Straface, Walter Malorni, Anna Maria Offidani, Roberto Pellicciari, Gennaro Schettini, Alberto Giannetti, Daniela Monti, Claudio Franceschi, Carlo Pincelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Carboxyfullerene, a water-soluble carboxylic acid derivative of a fullerene, which acts as a free-radical scavenger, was investigated as a protective agent against ultraviolet-light-induced damage in human keratinocytes. First, we demonstrate that carboxyfullerene is not cytotoxic for these cells. In addition, this compound significantly reduces the ultraviolet-B-induced inhibition of keratinocyte proliferation and protects keratinocytes from apoptosis caused by ultraviolet B irradiation in a time- and dose-dependent fashion. Furthermore, the percentage of cells with depolarized mitochondria is significantly lower in ultraviolet-B-irradiated keratinocytes pretreated with carboxyfullerene than in cells provided with diluent alone. Carboxyfullerene also protects human keratinocytes from apoptosis induced by exposure to deoxy-D-ribose, a sugar that causes cell death through a pathway involving oxidative stress. On the other hand, ultraviolet B downregulates bcl-2 levels in human keratinocytes, and carboxyfullerene fails to prevent this effect. These results suggest that carboxyfullerene protects human keratinocytes from ultraviolet B damage possibly via a mechanism interfering with the generation of reactive oxygen species from depolarized mitochondria without the involvement of bcl-2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-841
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Apoptosis
  • Carboxyfullerenes
  • Keratinocytes
  • Ultraviolet radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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  • Cite this

    Fumelli, C., Marconi, A., Salvioli, S., Straface, E., Malorni, W., Offidani, A. M., Pellicciari, R., Schettini, G., Giannetti, A., Monti, D., Franceschi, C., & Pincelli, C. (2000). Carboxyfullerenes protect human keratinocytes from ultraviolet-B-induced apoptosis. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 115(5), 835-841.