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“Research on the Mechanism of Sunburn” by Associate Professor Ogi and the Priority Research Agenda NRGIC/Atomic Bomb Disease Institute Published in Nature Genetics

2 April, 2012

The research group of the priority research agenda Nagasaki University Research Centre for Genomic Instability and Carcinogenesis (NRGIC), the Atomic Bomb Disease Institute of Nagasaki University’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (tenure-track Assistant Professor Yuka Nakazawa, Research Associate Kensaku Sasaki, Assistant Professor Norisato Mitsutake, Associate Professor Tomoo Ogi and others), and Kanebo Cosmetics Value Creation Laboratory have discovered the UVSSA gene responsible for ultraviolet hyper sensitivity syndrome, which causes strong sunburn reaction (erythema) to exposure to sunlight, and conducted molecular function analysis.
This condition has a very mild hereditary photosensitivity which has almost no symptoms other than strong sunburn, but for some 30 years since it was reported, the causative gene was unknown.
Utilizing the newest technology of “next generation sequencing analysis”, which enabled them to analyze the DNA sequences of an individual’s entire genome in a short time, this research group succeeded in identifying the causative gene by comparing all the gene sequences between patients.
Close analysis of this gene could elucidate the mechanism of sunburn in normal individuals, and also increase the possibility of developing techniques for making skin resistant to sunburn.

An article on this discovery has been published in the April 1 issue of Nature Genetics* online journal breaking new edition (electronic edition).

* Nature Genetics: Academic journal of the highest quality in the field of genetics.
It also shows the highest index of influence (impact factor) in all areas of life sciences.

For more information, see “Discovery of the UVSSA Gene, a Clue Toward Understanding Sunburn Mechanism” (PDF: 335 KB)