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Cancers (Basel). 2013 Nov 5;5(4):1426-38. doi: 10.3390/cancers5041426.

The protective role of vitamin d signaling in non-melanoma skin cancer.

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1
Department of Medicine and Endocrine, Research Unit and Department of Dermatology, VA Medical Center, University of California San Francisco, 4150 Clement St (111N), San Francisco, CA 94121, USA. daniel.bikle@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Although the epidemiologic evidence that adequate vitamin D nutrition protects against non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is limited, recent evidence that the vitamin D receptor (VDR) is protective is compelling. The role of vitamin D signaling in limiting the proliferation while promoting the differentiation of keratinocytes, the major cell in the epidermis from which NMSC are derived, is well known. However, recent findings that mice lacking the VDR are predisposed to skin cancer has brought to the fore the question of how the VDR is protective. In this review we will look first at the role of vitamin D signaling in regulating the proliferation and differentiation of keratinocytes. We will examine two pathways, β-catenin (CTNNB) and hedgehog (HH), that are regulated by vitamin D signaling and may contribute to the dysregulated proliferation and differentiation in the absence of VDR. We will then examine the failure of VDR deficient keratinocytes to repair DNA damaged by UVB. Finally we will examine the change in long non-coding RNA (LncRNA) expression in VDR null keratinocytes that in other cells is associated with malignant transformation, a potential newly appreciated mechanism by which vitamin D signaling is protective against NMSC.

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