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Photochem Photobiol. 2018 Aug 13. doi: 10.1111/php.12994. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects and Mechanism of Nicotinamide Against UVA- and/or UVB-mediated DNA Damages in Normal Melanocytes.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.
William S. Middleton VA Medical Center, Madison, WI.


Melanoma incidences are increasing rapidly, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is believed to be its major contributing factor. UV exposure causes DNA damage in skin which may initiate cutaneous skin cancers including melanoma. Melanoma arises from melanocytes, the melanin-producing skin cells, following genetic dysregulations resulting into hyperproliferative phenotype and neoplastic transformation. Both UVA and UVB exposures to the skin are believed to trigger melanocytic hyperplasia and melanomagenesis. Melanocytes by themselves are deficient in repair of oxidative DNA damage and UV-induced photoproducts. Nicotinamide, an active form of vitamin B3 and a critical component of the human body's defense system has been shown to prevent certain cancers including nonmelanoma skin cancers. However, the mechanism of nicotinamide's protective effects is not well understood. Here, we investigated potential protective effects and mechanism of nicotinamide against UVA- and/or UVB- induced damage in normal human epidermal melanocytes. Our data demonstrated an appreciable protective effect of nicotinamide against UVA- and/or UVB- induced DNA damage in melanocytes by decreasing both cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine levels. We found that the photoprotective response of nicotinamide was associated with the activation of nucleotide excision repair genes and NRF2 signaling. Further studies are needed to validate our findings in in vivo models.


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