Hypersensitivity of Skin Fibroblasts from Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome Patients to Killing by Ultraviolet B but not by Ultraviolet C Radiation

Lee A. Applegate, Honnavara N. Ananthaswamy, Leonard Harry Goldberg, Ronald D. Ley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Basal cell nevus syndrome (BCNS) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder in which the afflicted individuals are extremely susceptible to sunlight-induced skin cancers, particularly basal cell carcinomas. However, the cellular and molecular basis for BCNS is unknown. To ascertain whether there is any relationship between genetic predisposition to skin cancer and increased sensitivity of somatic cells from BCNS patients to killing by UV radiation, we exposed skin fibroblasts established from unexposed skin biopsies of several BCNS and age- and sex-matched normal individuals to either UV-B (280-320 nm) or UV-C (254 nm) radiation and determined their survival. The results indicated that skin fibroblasts from BCNS patients were hypersensitive to killing by UV-B but not UV-C radiation as compared to skin fibroblasts from normal individuals. DNA repair studies indicated that the increased sensitivity of BCNS skin fibroblasts to killing by UV-B radiation was not due to a defect in the excision repair of pyrimidine dimers. These results indicate that there is an association between hypersensitivity of somatic cells to killing by UV-B radiation and the genetic predisposition to skin cancer in BCNS patients. In addition, these results suggest that DNA lesions (and repair processes) other than the pyrimidine dimer are also involved in the pathogenesis of sunlight-induced skin cancers in BCNS patients. More important, the UV-B sensitivity assay described here may be used is a diagnostic tool to identify presymptomatic individuals with BCNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-641
Number of pages5
JournalCancer research
Volume50
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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