Proteome-wide changes in primary skin keratinocytes exposed to diesel particulate extract—A role for antioxidants in skin health

Pavithra Rajagopalan, Ankit P. Jain, Vishalakshi Nanjappa, Krishna Patel, Kiran K. Mangalaparthi, Niraj Babu, Nükhet Cavusoglu, Nita Roy, Jeremie Soeur, Lionel Breton, Akhilesh Pandey, Harsha Gowda, Aditi Chatterjee, Namita Misra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Skin acts as a protective barrier against direct contact with pollutants but inhalation and systemic exposure have indirect effect on keratinocytes. Exposure to diesel exhaust has been linked to increased oxidative stress. Objective: To investigate global proteomic alterations in diesel particulate extract (DPE)/its vapor exposed skin keratinocytes. Methods: We employed Tandem Mass Tag (TMT)-based proteomics to study effect of DPE/DPE vapor on primary skin keratinocytes. Results: We observed an increased expression of oxidative stress response protein NRF2, upon chronic exposure of primary keratinocytes to DPE/its vapor which includes volatile components such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomics led to identification 4490 proteins of which 201 and 374 proteins were significantly dysregulated (≥1.5 fold, p ≤ 0.05) in each condition, respectively. Proteins involved in cellular processes such as cornification (cornifin A), wound healing (antileukoproteinase) and differentiation (suprabasin) were significantly downregulated in primary keratinocytes exposed to DPE/DPE vapor. These results were corroborated in 3D skin models chronically exposed to DPE/DPE vapor. Bioinformatics analyses indicate that DPE and its vapor affect distinct molecular processes in skin keratinocytes. Components of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation machinery were seen to be exclusively overexpressed upon chronic DPE vapor exposure. In addition, treatment with an antioxidant like vitamin E partially restores expression of proteins altered upon exposure to DPE/DPE vapor. Conclusions: Our study highlights distinct adverse effects of chronic exposure to DPE/DPE vapor on skin keratinocytes and the potential role of vitamin E in alleviating adverse effects of environmental pollution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dermatological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Electron transport chain
  • Orbitrap Fusion
  • Pollution
  • Quantitative proteomics
  • Skin keratinocytes
  • Tocopherol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Proteome-wide changes in primary skin keratinocytes exposed to diesel particulate extract—A role for antioxidants in skin health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this