Receptor which causes sun-induced skin cancer foundby Sea Stachura, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Researchers now know what causes sun-induced skin cancer. Dr. Zigang Dong is the director of the Homel Institute at the University of Minnesota.
He said their research found that a receptor on the skin called the cannabinoid receptor absorbs UV light. That leads to inflammation, sun burn and skin cancer. Dong says researchers tested their theory on mice.
"So we use genetic engineering method to take the receptor away and then the mice without the receptor are no longer sensitive to UV to induce sun burns or skin cancer," Dong said.
The next step in the research is to find a way to block the receptor from absorbing the UV light or develop a drug that would prevent skin cancer, said Dong.