Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a major inducer of skin aging and accumulated exposure to UV radiation increases DNA damage in skin cells, including dermal fibroblasts. In the present study, we developed a novel DNA repair regulating material discovery (DREAM) system for the high-throughput screening and identification of putative materials regulating DNA repair in skin cells. First, we established a modified lentivirus expressing the luciferase and hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT) genes. Then, human dermal fibroblast WS-1 cells were infected with the modified lentivirus and selected with puromycin to establish cells that stably expressed luciferase and HPRT (DREAM-F cells). The first step in the DREAM protocol was a 96-well-based screening procedure, involving the analysis of cell viability and luciferase activity after pretreatment of DREAM-F cells with reagents of interest and post-treatment with UVB radiation, and vice versa. In the second step, we validated certain effective reagents identified in the first step by analyzing the cell cycle, evaluating cell death, and performing HPRT-DNA sequencing in DREAM-F cells treated with these reagents and UVB. This DREAM system is scalable and forms a time-saving high-throughput screening system for identifying novel anti-photoaging reagents regulating DNA damage in dermal fibroblasts.
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