Uv-irradiation-and inflammation-induced skin barrier dysfunction is associated with the expression of olfactory receptor genes in human keratinocytes

Wesuk Kang, Bomin Son, Soyoon Park, Dabin Choi, Taesun Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Olfactory receptors (ORs) have diverse physiological roles in various cell types, beyond their function as odorant sensors in the olfactory epithelium. These previous findings have sug-gested that ORs could be diagnostic markers and promising therapeutic targets in several patholog-ical conditions. In the current study, we sought to characterize the changes in the expression of ORs in the HaCaT human keratinocytes cell line exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light or inflammation, well-recognized stimulus for skin barrier disruption. We confirmed that major olfactory signaling com-ponents, including ORs, GNAL, Ric8b, and adenylate cyclase type 3, are highly expressed in HaCaT cells. We have also demonstrated that the 12 ectopic ORs detectable in HaCaT cells are more highly expressed in UV-irradiated or inflamed conditions than in normal conditions. We further assessed the specific OR-mediated biological responses of HaCaT cells in the presence of known odorant ligands of ORs and observed that specific ligand-activated ORs downregulate skin barrier genes in HaCaT cells. This study shows the potential of OR as a marker for skin barrier abnormalities. Further research is needed to explore how OR is implicated in the development and progression of barrier dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2799
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (No. 2019R1A2C2003340).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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