Investigating a DNA mutation caused by UV radiation

DNA damage from UV radiation

Spring 2009

£50,161 for a 1 year project at the School of Biological Sciences at UEA, investigating a DNA mutation caused by UV radiation.

Malignant melanoma is a devastating form of skin cancer caused by uncontrolled growth of skin pigment cells known as melanocytes.  The only effective cure is surgical removal.  

Studies suggest that exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet radiation is one of the major contributors to the development of melanoma.  UV radiation causes damage to the DNA of cells, causing mutations in skin cell genes. One such mutation has recently been found to occur in a gene known as WWP2, which normally acts to prevent melanoma outgrowth and migration to other tissues.
The project aims to understand how this mutation causes normal skin cells to undergo the transition to malignant melanoma.  This could allow the development of inhibitor drugs that block tumour-causing activity, providing new hope for the treatment of aggressive late-stage skin cancers.

For information on another WWP2 project funded by Big C, click here.

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