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Mitochondrial DNA damage in non-melanoma skin cancer

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Steve Durham, Professor Mark Birch-MachinORCiD


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Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage, predominantly encompassing point mutations, has been reported in a variety of cancers. Here we present in human skin, the first detailed study of the distribution of multiple forms of mtDNA damage in nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) compared to histologically normal perilesional dermis and epidermis. We present the first entire spectrum of deletions found between different types of skin tumours and perilesional skin. In addition, we provide the first quantitative data for the incidence of the common deletion as well as the first report of specific tandem duplications in tumours from any tissue. Importantly, this work shows that there are clear differences in the distribution of deletions between the tumour and the histologically normal perilesional skin. Furthermore, DNA sequencing of four mutation 'hotspot' regions of the mitochondrial genome identified a previously unreported somatic heteroplasmic mutation in an SCC patient. In addition, 81 unreported and reported homoplasmic single base changes were identified in the other NMSC patients. Unlike the distribution of deletions and the heteroplasmic mutation, these homoplasmic mutations were present in both tumour and perilesional skin, which suggests that for some genetic studies the traditional use of histologically normal perilesional skin from NMSC patients may be limited. Currently, it is unclear whether mtDNA damage has a direct link to skin cancer or it may simply reflect an underlying nuclear DNA instability. © 2003 Cancer Research UK.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Durham SE, Krishnan KJ, Betts J, Birch-Machin MA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Cancer

Year: 2003

Volume: 88

Issue: 1

Pages: 90-95

ISSN (print): 0007-0920

ISSN (electronic): 1532-1827

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600773

PubMed id: 12556965


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