Researchers are looking into the effects of raising melanin levels in skin to prevent melanoma. Here’s what you need to know.
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Mammalian pigmentation is regulated by a distinct cAMP-dependent mechanism that controls melanosome pH
“The production of melanin increases skin pigmentation and reduces the risk of skin cancer. Melanin production depends on the pH of melanosomes, which are more acidic in lighter-skinned than in darker-skinned people. We showed that inhibition of soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) controlled pigmentation by increasing the pH of melanosomes both in cells and in vivo.”
What Is Melanoma?
“The most dangerous form of skin cancer, these cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations (genetic defects) that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.”
What causes a sunburn or a suntan?
“Any time your skin is not protected by sunscreen or clothes and gets too much sun, it can burn or tan. But why do some people get a sunburn and others get a suntan? You have something called melanin in your skin. It's the stuff that gives your skin its color. People who have dark skin have more melanin. People who have light skin have less.”
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