Most skin cancers develop as the result of UV light–induced DNA damage; however, a substantial number of cases appear to occur independently of UV damage. A causal link between UV-independent skin cancers and chronic inflammation has been suspected, although the precise mechanism underlying this association is unclear. Here, we have proposed that activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID, encoded by AICDA) links chronic inflammation and skin cancer. We demonstrated that Tg mice expressing AID in the skin spontaneously developed skin squamous cell carcinoma with Hras and Trp53 mutations. Furthermore, genetic deletion of Aicda reduced tumor incidence in a murine model of chemical-induced skin carcinogenesis. AID was expressed in human primary keratinocytes in an inflammatory stimulus–dependent manner and was detectable in human skin cancers. Together, the results of this study indicate that inflammation-induced AID expression promotes skin cancer development independently of UV damage and suggest AID as a potential target for skin cancer therapeutics.
Taichiro Nonaka, Yoshinobu Toda, Hiroshi Hiai, Munehiro Uemura, Motonobu Nakamura, Norio Yamamoto, Ryo Asato, Yukari Hattori, Kazuhisa Bessho, Nagahiro Minato, Kazuo Kinoshita
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