In this month’s School of Medicine Paper of the Month, OHSU researchers publish findings with positive therapeutic implications for sun-damaged skin. The research team included Jodi Johnson, PhD, Brian Lowell, MS2, Olga Ryabinina, MD, R. Stephen Lloyd, PhD, and Amanda McCullough, PhD. Their paper, “TAT-Mediated Delivery of a DNA Repair Enzyme to Skin Cells Rapidly Initiates Repair of UV-Induced DNA Damage,” was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
Ultraviolet rays from sun exposure can cause damage to skin cell DNA. These DNA lesions are typically repaired by cellular DNA repair mechanisms. If the skin cells fail to repair the DNA damage correctly, gene mutations occur, ultimately resulting in skin cancer. Prior research has shown that humans lack an enzyme necessary to perform a type of DNA repair that some other organisms use to fix DNA lesions. The authors of this study took advantage of a DNA-repair system that viruses and other prokaryotes use, called base excision repair, to repair DNA damage in several types of cells, keratinocytes, fibroblasts and in a human skin model. This viral mechanism was able to repair one of the most predominant types of DNA lesions.
Read the full article on the School of Medicine Website.