Allison Perry

New UK Study Helps Scientists Understand Melanoma Development

Published: Jul 15, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 15, 2014) — A new study by University of Kentucky researchers shows how a genetic defect in a specific hormonal pathway may make people more susceptible to developing melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.

 

Fair-skinned people who tend to burn (rather than tan) from sun exposure have a much higher risk for melanoma than darker-skinned people. On the surface, it appears that the amount of melanin,  the natural substance in the skin that determines pigment and acts as the skin's "natural sunscreen," would be the only determinant of melanoma risk. However, the truth is more complicated.

 

Published in Molecular Cell, the study looked at the role of the melanocortin1 receptor (MC1R), the receptor on melanocytes in the skin that gets called into action following ultraviolet exposure to help the skin lay down more UV-blocking melanin to protect itself. Fair-skinned people are more likely to inherit a defect in this receptor, and as a result, cannot make enough melanin to fully protect themselves from UV damage. 

 

Since UV from sunlight or tanning beds is a major cause of melanoma, inherited problems in the MC1R means that the skin lacks natural protection by melanin, which acts as a biologic sunblock. This leads to more UV light chronically getting through to the sensitive layers of the epidermis, where it can contribute to cancer. 

 

However, the UK study showed that MC1R defects contribute to melanoma development in ways other than melanin production. Besides regulating the amount of melanin that gets made in the skin, MC1R also controls how well melanocytes can repair their DNA from UV damage.  Having defects in MC1R signaling delays the body's ability to clear out existing DNA damage in the skin – leading to an increased potential for cancerous mutations. 

 

“Knowing whether people have a specific genetic predisposition for melanoma could potentially save many lives”, says Dr. John D'Orazio, Associate Professor and the Drury Pediatric Research Endowed Chair at UK’s Markey Cancer Center. “If you happen to be born with a problem in this MC1R hormonal pathway, then you need to be extra careful with respect to UV safety.” 

 

A good indication of a person’s MC1R status is what happens to the skin after sun exposure. 

 

“If you tan well, then your MC1R probably works well,” D'Orazio said. “If you tend to burn, then you may have inherited a problem with your MC1R, and you probably should avoid purposeful UV exposure like tanning bed use or unprotected sun exposure."

 

D’Orazio and his research team found an important molecular link between MC1R signaling and DNA repair in their study. The team hopes to use this information to develop new melanoma-preventive treatments, like additives that can be included in sunblocks to ramp up the skin’s ability to deal with UV damage. 

 

Melanoma incidence has increased steadily over the past few decades – in the 1930s, an estimated one in every 1,500 Americans developed the diseases. Today, the odds are about one in every 60. Having a problem with the MC1R pathway raises a person’s lifetime risk of melanoma about four-fold. 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Perry, (859) 323-2399 or allison.perry@uky.edu

489348045.jpg
April
 
 
 
 
 
1
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Last day to withdraw from the University or reduce course load. Students can withdraw or reduce course load after this date only for “urgent non-academic reasons.”
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Fri
2
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Sat
3
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Bill Adams: Blue Madness
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Open House: Selections from the John and Sue Wieland Collection
Book of Mormon Trip
Sun
4
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Edible Garden Workday
Stop and See The Sexperts
Graduate Student Congress Meeting (April)
Mon
5
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Tye Dye Tuesday
Use of Urban Forests to Improve Water Quality
Women of the World: Abby Wambach
Tue
6
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Stop and See The Sexperts
Free HIV Screenings
Ag Awareness Day: Horticulture Club Sale
Wed
7
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Last day for candidates for a May 2016 degree to schedule a final examination in the Graduate School
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Horticulture Club Cabin Fever Sale
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Letting Go of the Reins
Symposium of Food Systems Studies
Thu
8
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Deadline for applying for admission to the Graduate School for the 2016 Four-Week Summer Session
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Horticulture Club Cabin Fever Sale
Holi
Fri
9
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Volunteering 101
House Party
Sat
10
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Sun
11
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Innovation Seminar: Sustainable Transportation
Mon
12
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Kick Butts Day
Periscope with a Bike Mechanic (morning)
Periscope with a Bike Mechanic (afternoon)
Tye Dye And Papa Johns with Fusion
Tue
13
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
4th Annual Bike to Campus Day & On-the-Spot Safety Checks
Stop and See The Sexperts
Fusion Blitz Week Service Day
Wed
14
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Get Your DIY On! Fix-It Station Demonstrations
Fusion Game Night
Tour de Downtown Art
Thu
15
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
High Elevation Archaeological Research in the Northern Wind River Range, Wyoming
Fri
16
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Donut Tour on Two Wheels
PharmD Open House
PharmD Open House
UK Spring Family Reunion
Sat
17
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Sprint for Scholarships 5K
Sun
18
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Stop and See The Sexperts
Mon
19
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Creason Lecture
Tue
20
One + One
Monday through Wednesday - Students are prohibited from changing academic major
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Ping Pong Ball Drop
Wed
21
One + One
Last day for candidates for a May 2016 degree to sit for a final examination
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Wildcat Wrap-Up
Go 'Inside the Hit Factory' With Author, New Yorker Writer John Seabrook
Soup & Substance / Trending Topics
UK RSA Block Party
Thu
22
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Fri
23
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
UK Dance Ensemble Spring Concert
Sat
24
One + One
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
UK Dance Ensemble Spring Concert
Sun
25
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Mon
26
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
Four-Week Intersession registration and add/drop continue for students enrolled in the 2016 Spring Semester
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Building a Rain Garden
Tue
27
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars
Wed
28
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Paws for Stress Relief
Some Intersections of Art and Science - A Public Lecture by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek
Thu
29
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Last Day of Classes
Fri
30
One + One
Final Grading window is open. The final deadline for submission of grades online in the grading portal is midnight, May 9.
R. C. May Photography: Paul Shambroom: Lost
Oral Cancer Awareness 5K
ARBOR DAY at The Arboretum
Sat

Repeats every day on March, April, May every Sunday and every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday until Sun May 22 2016 .
Sat, 04/30/2016

Sat, 04/30/2016

Repeats every day on March, April, May every Sunday and every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday until Sun May 22 2016 .
Sun, 05/01/2016

Mon, 05/02/2016 - Fri, 05/06/2016

Reset Page