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ΔNp63α, a proto-oncogene, is up-regulated in non-melanoma skin cancers and directly regulates the expression of both Vitamin D receptor (VDR) and phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN). Since ΔNp63α has been shown to inhibit cell invasion via regulation of VDR, we wanted to determine whether dietary Vitamin D3 protected against UVB induced tumor formation in SKH-1 mice, a model for squamous cell carcinoma development. We examined whether there was a correlation between dietary Vitamin D3 and ΔNp63α, VDR or PTEN expression in vivo in SKH-1 mice chronically exposed to UVB radiation and fed chow containing increasing concentrations of dietary Vitamin D3. Although we observed differential effects of the Vitamin D3 diet on ΔNp63α and VDR expression in chronically irradiated normal mouse skin as well as UVB induced tumors, Vitamin D3 had little effect on PTEN expression in vivo. While low-grade papillomas in mice exposed to UV and fed normal chow displayed increased levels of ΔNp63α, expression of both ΔNp63α and VDR was reduced in invasive tumors. Interestingly, in mice fed high Vitamin D3 chow, elevated levels of ΔNp63α were observed in both local and invasive tumors but not in normal skin suggesting that oral supplementation with Vitamin D3 may increase the proliferative potential of skin tumors by increasing ΔNp63α levels.


Copyright: © 2014 Hill et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.