Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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6-formylindolo-carbazole; Indolkarbazole; Tryptophan dimer

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Acronym for the indolocarbazole "6-formylindolo-carbazole", a photoproduct generated by photo-oxidation and resulting from the amino acid tryptophan (tryptone phadimer: dimer = molecule or a molecular compound consisting of two often identical subunits, the monomers). Tryptophan thus functions as a UV chromophore. FICZ is metabolized very quickly in the cytoplasm of cells. Thus, UV irradiation leads to a rapid increase of FICZ in keratinocytes, but also systemically (detectable in urine samples of UV-irradiated volunteers). FICZ has one of the strongest affinities to a cytoplasmic protein, the arylhydroxycarbon receptor (AhR). This protein triggers the internal signaling pathways in keratinocytes and melanocytes and also induces melanogenesis (see pigmentation below).

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  1. Brenner M et al (2010) Basics of skin pigmentation. Dermatologist 61: 554-560
  2. Esser C et al (2010) UV radiation and pigmentation. dermatologist 61: 561-565
  3. Fritsche E et al (2007): Lightening up the UV response: The AhR is a cytoplasmic photosensor. Proc Natl Acad Sci 104:8851-8856.

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Pigmentation; Uv rays;


Last updated on: 29.10.2020