Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UVA radiation damages DNA in human melanocyte skin cells and can lead to melanoma

Date:
July 2, 2010
Source:
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Summary:
A new study has found that UVA radiation damages the DNA in human melanocyte cells, causing mutations that can lead to melanoma. Melanocytes, which contain a substance called melanin that darkens the skin to protect it from the ultraviolet rays of the sun, are more vulnerable to UVA radiation than normal skin cells because they are unable to repair themselves as efficiently.

A new study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine found that UVA radiation damages the DNA in human melanocyte cells, causing mutations that can lead to melanoma. Melanocytes, which contain a substance called melanin that darkens the skin to protect it from the ultraviolet rays of the sun, are more vulnerable to UVA radiation than normal skin cells because they are unable to repair themselves as efficiently.

Related Articles


"For the first time, UVA rays have been shown to cause significant damage to the DNA of human melanocyte skin cells," says Moon-shong Tang, PhD, professor of environmental medicine, pathology and medicine at NYU School of Medicine. "And because melanocytes have a reduced capacity to repair DNA damage from UVA radiation, they mutate more frequently, potentially leading to the development of melanoma."

In this study, researchers exposed lightly and darkly pigmented human melanocytes to UVA radiation and assessed DNA damage and the capacity of these cells to repair damaged DNA. DNA damage was detected in all melanocyte cells and these cells were unable to repair the damage. Normal skin cells were also exposed to UVA light but no damage to their DNA was observed.

"Identifying the underlying causes of melanoma allows researchers to develop new ways to assess a person's risk of melanoma, prevent the disease and aid in the design of more effective treatments," said Dr. Tang, who is also a member of the NYU Cancer Institute.

Sunlight in the form of UVA radiation causes oxygen in melanocytes to damage DNA. Thus, oxidative DNA damage adversely affects transcription and DNA replication in melanocytes. The authors concluded that UVA-induced oxidative DNA damage in melanocytes and the inherently reduced repair capacity in these cells are the two key factors that contribute to melanoma on the skin.

The authors also discovered the underlying mechanism to explain why melanoma can also develop in areas never exposed to sunlight: Because melanocytes generally have a limited capacity to repair any DNA damage, they have a higher mutation frequency rate and are more susceptible to the development of melanoma -- even without the effects of the sun.

"Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, continues to increase at a rate of 3 percent a year," says Dr. Tang. "This research highlights the necessity of limiting UVA radiation by avoiding excessive sunlight, tanning and sunbeds."

The study received funding from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. It was published early online and will be appear in the print edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 6, 2010.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. "UVA radiation damages DNA in human melanocyte skin cells and can lead to melanoma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100701103415.htm>.
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. (2010, July 2). UVA radiation damages DNA in human melanocyte skin cells and can lead to melanoma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100701103415.htm
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. "UVA radiation damages DNA in human melanocyte skin cells and can lead to melanoma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100701103415.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins