Caffeine and UV-associated skin cancers

A US study has revealed how caffeine guards against UV-associated skin cancers

Caffeine targets the ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) checkpoint and it is known that suppression of the ATR checkpoint induces apoptosis in malignant cells. The researchers genetically modified and diminished ATR function in a group of mice. The transgenic mice remained tumour-free for longer after chronic UV exposure, compared to control mice. At the end of the observation period, the transgenic mice had 69 per cent fewer tumours than the control mice. This study supports the theory that ATR inhibition contributes to the protective effect of caffeine against skin cancer.
Kawasumi M, Lemos B, Bradner JE et al. PNAS 2011
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