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Nonmelanoma skin cancers including basal and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC and BCC) represent a significant clinical problem due to their relatively high incidence, imposing an economic burden to healthcare systems around the world. It is accepted that ultraviolet radiation (UVR: λ = 290–400 nm) plays a crucial role in the initiation and promotion of BCC and SCC with UVB (λ = 290–320 nm) having a central role in this process. On the other hand, UVB is required for vitamin D3 (D3) production in the skin, which supplies >90% of the body’s requirement for this prohormone. Prolonged exposure to UVB can also generate tachysterol and lumisterol. Vitamin D3 itself and its canonical (1,25(OH)2D3) and noncanonical (CYP11A1-intitated) D3 hydroxyderivatives show photoprotective functions in the skin. These include regulation of keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation, induction of anti-oxidative responses, inhibition of DNA damage and induction of DNA repair mechanisms, and anti-inflammatory activities. Studies in animals have demonstrated that D3 hydroxyderivatives can attenuate UVB or chemically induced epidermal cancerogenesis and inhibit growth of SCC and BCC. Genomic and non-genomic mechanisms of action have been suggested. In addition, vitamin D3 itself inhibits hedgehog signaling pathways which have been implicated in many cancers. Silencing of the vitamin D receptor leads to increased propensity to develop UVB or chemically induced epidermal cancers. Other targets for vitamin D compounds include 1,25D3-MARRS, retinoic orphan receptors α and γ, aryl hydrocarbon receptor, and Wnt signaling. Most recently, photoprotective effects of lumisterol hydroxyderivatives have been identified. Clinical trials demonstrated a beneficial role of vitamin D compounds in the treatment of actinic keratosis. In summary, recent advances in vitamin D biology and pharmacology open new exciting opportunities in chemoprevention and treatment of skin cancers.
|Title of host publication||Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology|
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|Name||Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology|
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