Washington, Feb 23 (ANI): Spanish researchers have found that defects in skin cell regeneration mechanism may increase the risk of skin cancer.
Telomeres are DNA sequences that cap chromosomes and control the number of times a cell may be copied.
The new study has explained how telomere dysfunction in skin cells can lead to increased skin cancer risk and pigmentation.
The researchers analysed the molecular mechanisms underlying skin cell telomere dysfunction using a mouse model of Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), a disease in which patients have increased sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
They found that the mice had impaired skin cell regeneration, and that limiting the activity of a tumour suppressor signalling protein, p53, restored cell regeneration and reduced hyperpigmentation.
Moreover, limiting p53 activity also advanced the progression of skin cancers.
The researchers hope that understanding the pathways which control cell regeneration and cancer progression in patients will not only aid in treatments for XP patients, but can likewise provide clues on how to target and better treat other cases of skin cancer.
The study has been reported in the journal Disease Models and Mechanisms. (ANI)