New study provides Insights to how Skin Cancer is activated by UV Rays – ZMR Blog
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New study provides Insights to how Skin Cancer is activated by UV Rays

New Study Provides Insights To How Skin Cancer Is Activated By UV Rays

A new study has led the researchers to probe into how skin cancer is triggered by UV rays. They might also have discovered an approach to inhibit skin cancer using a gene target. Melanoma is a type of cancer of the pigment cells of the skin known as melanocytes.

Melanomas can arise any place on the skin; however, they are most prone to grow on the legs in females, and on the back and chest in males. Other common places for melanomas include face and neck. Even though few of these melanoma incidents originate from pre-existing moles, the majority come from causes that were, so far, unidentified.

A new study led by Andrew White—from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, NY—has discovered that when a specific digit of genetic mutations are accumulated by the melanocyte stem cells, they become latent cancer-causing cells.

Melanocytes, on contact with the UV radiation, liberate melanin—which is a dark brown to black pigment that guards the skin from the rays of Sun. However, in melanocyte stem cells that have attained and surpassed the genetic mutation threshold, stimulation by sun exposure make them develop a tumor.

Professor White said, “If one had mutations that were adequate for melanoma, all would be all right until he/she went out and have sunburn. The spur that would generally just confer you a tanning reaction can, actually, initiate a melanoma instead.” He and his team also exposed that they might have recognized a means to put off melanomas that result from the mutated stem cells.

UV Rays

The team figured out that on coming in contact with UV radiations, a gene named Hgma2 is exhibited in the skin. On the expression of Hgma2, it facilitates the melanocyte stem cells to move from where they are positioned at the hair follicles’ base to the skin surface, or the epidermis, where they liberate melanin.

Two mice sets were used by the team that were engineered to have a mutation in the melanocyte stem cell to validate the role of Hgma2 in the melanoma development. One mice group had only mutations, whereas the other group had the Hgma2 gene deleted and mutations as well.

A dose of UV radiation was given to all the mice that was high enough to trigger a “tanning reaction.” The mice with an intact Hgma2 gene and stem cell mutations developed melanomas, whereas the one with the deleted Hgma2 gene and mutations remained healthy.

Though the results are promising, the team mentions that more research is required to be accomplished to advance our perceptive of the Hgma2 gene.

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