Not Only Skin Deep: Penn Study on Skin Formation Suggests Strategies to Fight Skin Cancer

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5658December 6, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - In a study published in the journal Developmental Cell, Sarah Millar PhD, professor of Dermatology and Cell & Developmental Biology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and colleagues demonstrate that a pair of enzymes called HDACs are critical to the proper formation of mammalian skin.

The findings, Millar says, not only provide information about the molecular processes underlying skin development, they also suggest a potential anticancer strategy. "Inhibition of these HDAC enzymes might be able to shut down the growth of tumors that contain cells resembling those in embryonic skin,” she says.

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