Methylparaben is a commonly used antimicrobial in cosmetics that has been shown to have negative effects on mammalian cells. Human melanoma M624 cells were treated with 1 and 5 mM methylparaben in the presence and absence of 25 mJ/cm2 ultraviolet B (UV-B) light. Cell proliferation assays showed that 5 mM methylparaben was toxic to M624 cells after 24 hours. Apoptotic signaling pathways were analyzed via isolation of separate cellular compartments and protein analysis via western blot. Upon 5 mM methylparaben treatment, PARP I was cleaved indicating apoptosis, which was mediated by the TNF-α receptor activated in the lipid rafts of the M624 cells. Upon 25 mJ/cm2 UV-B radiation, PARP II was activated indicating cellular damage, cytochrome c was released from the mitochondria, and caspase-3 was expressed. Upon combinatory treatment with 5 mM methylparaben and 25 mJ/cm2 UV-B, apoptosis was induced through mitochondrial release of cytochrome c, expression of caspase-3 and cleavage of PARP I, while methylparaben-induced TNF-α receptor activation and UV-B-induced PARP II activation was inhibited., demonstrating that antimicrobial methylparaben in cosmetics can cause damage to cells.
Part of the book: Medicinal Chemistry