Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation induces photoaging by upregulating the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and decreasing collagen synthesis in human skin cells. This study evaluated the effects of licarin E isolated from mace, the aril of Myristica fragrans Houtt., on MMP-1 and type-1 procollagen levels in UVB-irradiated human skin fibroblasts. Powdered mace extracted with 95% ethanol was used and licarin E isolated by preparative high-performance liquid chromatography. In addition, western blot analysis, reverse transcription PCR and electrophoretic mobility shift assay were used to evaluate the effects of licarin E and its molecular mechanism. It was found that licarin E attenuated UVB-induced MMP-1 expression by inactivating mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), thereby inhibiting activator protein 1. Licarin E also increased type-1 procollagen expression by stimulating transforming growth factor β (TGFβ)/Smad signaling. The findings show that licarin E positively regulates the expression of MMP-1 and type-1 procollagen in UVB-irradiated human skin fibroblasts through MAPK and TGFβ signaling, suggesting its potential as a potent antiphotoaging agent.
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