Psoralens in combination with UV generate DNA interstrand crosslinks

Stable Identifier
Reaction [omitted]
Homo sapiens
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Psoralens (fucocoumarins) are plant-derived chemicals that, in the presence of UV light, create DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) along with other types of DNA lesions. PUVA is a combination therapy consisting of psoralens and UV light, used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and severe atopic dermatitis (eczema), as well as the cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (mycosis fungoides). The following psoralens have been widely used in the PUVA therapy:
8-methoxypsoralen (Cohen et al. 1981; Gruenert et al. 1985)
5-methoxypsoralen (Gruenert et al. 1985)
trimethylpsoralen (also known as trioxalen) (Carter et al. 1979).

The PUVA therapy increases the risk of different types of skin cancer, such as basal carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. For review, please refer to Deans and West 2011.
Literature References
PubMed ID Title Journal Year
4053013 Induction of DNA-DNA cross-link formation in human cells by various psoralen derivatives

Cleaver, JE, Mitchell, RH, Ashwood-Smith, M, Gruenert, DC

Cancer Res 1985
448184 Psoralen-DNA cross-linking photoadducts in dyskeratosis congenita: delay in excision and promotion of sister chromatid exchange

McGuire, JS, Pan, M, Carter, DM, Sibrack, L, Gaynor, A

J Invest Dermatol 1979
21701511 DNA interstrand crosslink repair and cancer

West, SC, Deans, AJ

Nat. Rev. Cancer 2011
7207490 DNA crosslinking and cell survival in human lymphoid cells treated with 8-methoxypsoralen and long wavelength ultraviolet radiation

Kohn, KW, Kraemer, KH, Cohen, LF, Waters, HL, Glaubiger, DL

Mutat Res 1981
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