Dual role of SIRT1 in UVB-induced skin tumorigenesis

M. Ming, K. Soltani, C. R. Shea, X. Li, Y. Y. He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The protein deacetylase SIRT1 regulates various pathways in metabolism, aging and cancer. However, the role of SIRT1 in skin cancer remains unclear. Here, using mice with targeted deletions of SIRT1 in their epidermis in both resistant B6 and sensitive SKH1 hairless backgrounds, we show that the role of SIRT1 in skin cancer development induced by ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation is dependent on its gene dose. Keratinocyte-specific heterozygous deletion of SIRT1 promotes UVB-induced skin tumorigenesis, whereas homozygous deletion of SIRT1 suppresses skin tumor development but sensitizes the B6 mice to chronic solar injury. In mouse skin, SIRT1 is haploinsufficient for UVB-induced DNA damage repair and expression of xeroderma pigmentosum C (XPC), a protein critical for repairing UVB-induced DNA damage. As compared with normal human skin, downregulation of SIRT1 is in parallel with downregulation of XPC in human cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma at both the protein and mRNA levels. In contrast, homozygous SIRT1 deletion in mouse skin augments p53 acetylation and expression of its transcriptional target Noxa, and sensitizes the epidermis to UVB-induced apoptosis in vivo, while heterozygous SIRT1 deletion has no such effect. The gene dosage-dependent function of SIRT1 in DNA repair and cell survival is consistent with the dual roles of SIRT1 in UVB-induced skin tumorigenesis. Our results reveal the gene dosage-dependent in vivo functions of SIRT1 in skin tumorigenesis and may shed light on the role of SIRT1 in epithelial cancer induced by DNA damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-363
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 15 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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