Feb 5, 2010

Stepping up melanocytes to the challenge of UV exposure

Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research
Zalfa A Abdel-MalekViki Swope

Abstract

Exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) is the main etiological factor for skin cancer, including melanoma. Cutaneous pigmentation, particularly eumelanin, afforded by melanocytes is the main photoprotective mechanism, as it prevents UV-induced DNA damage in the epidermis. Therefore, maintaining genomic stability of melanocytes is crucial for prevention of melanoma, as well as keratinocyte-derived basal and squamous cell carcinoma. A critical independent factor for preventing melanoma is DNA repair capacity. The response of melanocytes to UV is mediated mainly by a network of paracrine factors that not only activate melanogenesis, but also DNA repair, anti-oxidant, and survival pathways that are pivotal for maintenance of genomic stability and prevention of malignant transformation or apoptosis. However, little is known about the stress response of melanocytes to UV and the regulation of DNA repair pathways in melanocytes. Unraveling these mechanisms might lead to strategies to prevent melanoma, as well as non-melanoma skin cancer.

Mentioned in this Paper

Malignant Neoplasm of Skin
Biochemical Pathway
Melanocyte
Biological Adaptation to Stress
Gait, Drop Foot
DNA Repair
Keratinocyte
Genomic Stability
Base Excision Repair
Melanogenesis

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