Repair of Ultraviolet-Light-Induced Damage in Human Skin

  • Betsy M. Sutherland


Sunlight exposure induces skin thickening, hyper- and hypopigmentation, and skin cancer in man (see Epstein, 1970). Several lines of evidence indict the ultraviolet components (290–400 nm) of sunlight as the causative agent of both basal and squamous cell carcinomas: 1) the predominance of the cancers on sunlight-exposed skin areas (see Epstein, 1970); 2) the correlation of incidence of these types of skin cancer and latitude of residence of the patient (Urbach and Scotto, 1975); 3) the prevention of skin cancer in cancer-prone xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) patients by limitation of ultraviolet exposure (Lynch et al., 1980) (XP is a hereditary, recessive disease of sun-sensitivity, hyper- and hypo-pigmentation and development of cancerous lesions on sunlight-exposed areas; see Robbins et al., 1974). The correlation of melanoma and sunlight exposure is less clear, although recent data suggest that production of these cancers may correlate with occasional acute sunburning (see Committee on Impacts of Stratospheric Change, 1979).


Human Skin Xeroderma Pigmentosum Thymine Dimer Postreplication Repair Alkaline Sucrose Gradient 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Betsy M. Sutherland
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentBrookhaven National LaboratoryUptonUSA

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