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Mol Cell Oncol. 2015 Jun 23;3(1):e1033588. doi: 10.1080/23723556.2015.1033588. eCollection 2016 Jan.

Unanticipated role of melanin in causing carcinogenic cyclobutane pyrimidine dimmers.

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Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine , New Haven, CT, USA.

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Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) instantaneously generates cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). Paradoxically, we recently observed that UV enables the protective pigment melanin to create CPDs in the dark long after the exposure ends. UV-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) oxidize melanin to create melanin carbonyls in a high-energy quantum state. These energetic melanin carbonyls transfer their energy to DNA in the dark, creating CPDs in the absence of UVR.


DNA damage; melanin; melanoma; models of oncogenesis; photobiology; ultraviolet radiation

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