Role of Psoralen Receptors in Cell Growth Regulation
The precise biochemical events leading to alterations in cell growth following activation of these receptors is varied and depends on the nature of the growth regulatory substance and on the target cell. The psoralens absorb UV light, and it is this property that confers biologic activity on these compounds. In psoriasis, PUVA therapy leads to an inhibition of abnormally high rates of epidermal cell growth associated with the disease. The psoralens have been gaining widespread acceptance as therapeutic agents for a number of diverse skin-related diseases. Based on the many biological responses observed with these compounds, it appears that their interaction with DNA alone is not sufficient to explain their mechanism of action. Characterization of the psoralen receptor in different skin cells and the events that occur following receptor activation are necessary to understand how psoralens and UVA treatment affects the epidermal growth factor receptor and subsequently regulates cell growth in diseases such as psoriasis.