Academic journal article Science and Children

Beneficial Skin Bacteria Protect against Skin Cancer

Academic journal article Science and Children

Beneficial Skin Bacteria Protect against Skin Cancer

Article excerpt

Science continues to peel away layers of the skin microbiome to reveal its protective properties. In a new study, researchers report a potential new role for some bacteria on the skin: protecting against cancer.

"We have identified a strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis, common on healthy human skin, that exerts a selective ability to inhibit the growth of some cancers," says Richard Gallo, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of California--San Diego School of Medicine. "This unique strain of skin bacteria produces a chemical that kills several types of cancer cells but does not appear to be toxic to normal cells."

The team discovered the S. epidermidis strain produces the chemical compound 6-N-hydroxyamino-purine (6-HAP). Mice with S. epidermidis on their skin that did not make 6-HAP had many skin tumors after being exposed to cancer-causing ultraviolet rays (UV), but mice with the S. epidermidis strain producing 6-HAP did not.

6-HAP is a molecule that impairs the creation of DNA, known as DNA synthesis, and prevents the spread of transformed tumor cells as well as the potential to suppress development of UV-induced skin tumors. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.