Ultraviolet Radiation: Interaction with Biological Molecules

  • Frederick Urbach
Part of the Cancer, A Comprehensive Treatise book series (C)


Solar radiation is a very important element in our environment and yet, because of its ubiquity, the wide scope of its chemical and biological effects is often not fully appreciated. That solar energy fixation makes life possible is a generally known fact. It is not so generally appreciated that many of the effects of solar radiation are detrimental. Most people are aware that a painful sunburn can be caused by excessive exposure to the sun, and that colors fade and materials age in the sun. There also are more subtle effects of sunlight on living cells, including the production of mutations and the development of skin cancer following sufficient chronic exposure to sunlight.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Augenstein, L., and Riley, P., 1967, The inactivation of enzymes by UV light: The effect of environment of cystine disruption by UV light, Photochem. Photobiol. 6: 423.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beers, R. F., JR., Herriott, R., and Tilghman, R. C. (eds.), 1972, Molecular and Cellular Repair Processes, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  3. Bender, M. A., Griggs, H. G., and Walker, P. L., 1973, Mechanisms of chromosomal aberration production. I. Aberration induction by ultraviolet light, Mutat. Res. 20: 387–402.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beukers, R., and Berends, W., 1960, Isolation and identification of the irradiation product of thymine, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 41: 550–551.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blum, H. F., 1959, Carcinogenesis by Ultraviolet Light, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.Google Scholar
  6. Cairns, J., 1963, The chromosome of Escherichia coli, Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 28: 43–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cleaver, J. E., 1968, Defective repair replication of Dna in xeroderma pigmentosum, Nature (London) 218: 652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cleaver, J. E., 1970, Dna damage and repair in light sensitive human skin disease, J. Invest. Dermatol. 54: 181.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cleaver, J. E., and Carter, P. M., 1973, Xeroderma pigmentosum: Influence of temperature on Dna repair, J. Invest. Dermatol. 60: 29–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dorn, H. F., 1944, Illness from cancer in the United States, U.S. Public Health Rep. 59: 33–48, 65–77, 97–115.Google Scholar
  11. Dubreuilh, W., 1896, Des Hyperkeratoses Circonscriptes, Ann. Dermatol. Syphiligr. (Ser. 3) 7: 1158–1204.Google Scholar
  12. Epstein, J. H., 1966, Ultraviolet light carcinogenesis, in: Advances in Biology of Skin, Vol. VII (W. Montagna and R. L. Dobson, eds.), Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  13. Epstein, J. H., Fukuyama, K., and Epstein, W. L., 1968, Uvl induced stimulation of Dna synthesis in hairless mouse epidermis, J. Invest. Dermatol. 51: 445.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Epstein, W. L., Fukuyama, K., and Epstein, J. H., 1971, UV light, Dna repair and skin carcinogenesis in man, Fed. Proc. 30: 1766–1771.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Evans, R. G., and Norman, A., 1968, Unscheduled incorporation of thymidine in ultraviolet irradiated human lymphocytes, Radiat. Res. 36: 287.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Findlay, G. M., 1928, Ultraviolet light and skin cancer, Lancet 215: 1070–1073.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gellin, G. A., Kopf, A. W., and Garfinkel, L., 1966, Basal cell epithelioma: A controlled study of associated factors, in: Advances in Biology of Skin, Vol. VII (W. Montagna and R. L. Dobson, eds.), Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  18. Giese, A. C., 1964, Studies on UV radiation action upon animal cells, in: Photophysiology, Vol. 2 (A. C. Giese, ed.), p. 203ff, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Gordon, D., Silverstone, H., and Smithhurst, B. A., 1972, The epidemiology of skin cancer in Australia, in: Melanoma and Skin Cancer (W. H. McCarthy, ed.), Nsw Government Printer, Sydney, Australia.Google Scholar
  20. Griggs, H. C., and Bender, M. A., 1973, Photoreactivation of ultraviolet induced chromosomal aberrations, Science 179: 86–88.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hariharan, P. V., and Cerutti, P. A., 1977, Formation of products of the 5,6-dihydroxydihydrothymine type by ultraviolet light in HeLa cells, Biochemistry 16: 2791–2795.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Holmberg, M., and Jonasson, J., 1974, Synergistic effect of X-ray and UV irradiation on the frequency of chromosome breakage in human lymphocytes, Mutat. Res. 23: 213–221.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Howard-Flanders, P., 1968, Dna repair, Am. Rev. Biochem. 37: 175–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hsu, J., Forbes, P. D., Harber, L. C., and Lakow, E., 1975, Induction of skin tumors in hairless mice by a single exposure to ultraviolet radiation, Photochem. Photobiol. 21: 185–188.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ikushima, T., and Wolff, S., 1974, UV-induced chromatid aberrations in cultured Chinese hamster cells after one, two, or three rounds of Dna replication, Mutat. Res. 22: 193–201.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kelner, A., 1953, Growth, respiration and nucleic acid synthesis in UV-irradiated and in photoreactivated E. coli, J Bacteriol. 65: 252–262.Google Scholar
  27. Kelner, A., 1969, Biological aspects of UV damage, photoreactivation and other repair systems in micro-organisms, in: The Biologic Effects of UV Radiation ( F. Urbach, ed.), Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  28. Latarjet, R., and Zajdela, F., 1974, The inhibiting effect of caffeine on the induction of skin cancer by UV in the mouse, Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci. 277: 1073–1076.Google Scholar
  29. Lehmann, A. R., 1972, Postreplication repair of Dna in ultraviolet-irradiated mammalian cells, Mol. Biol. 66: 319–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lieberman, M. W., and Forbes, P. D., 1973, Demonstration of Dna repair in normal and neoplastic tissues after treatment with proximate chemical carcinogens and UV radiation, Nature New Biol. 241: 199–201.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Luria, S. E., 1955, Radiation and viruses, in: Radiation Biology, Vol. 2 (A. Hollander, ed.), p. 333ff, McGraw—Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  32. McLaren, A. D., and Sugar, D., 1964, Photochemistry of Proteins and Nucleic Acids, Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  33. Norman, H., Ottoman, R. E., Chan, P., and Kilsak, I., 1972, Unscheduled Dna synthesis, Mutat. Res. 15: 358.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. O’Beirn, S. F., Judge, P., Urbach, F., Maccon, C. F., and Martin, F., 1970, The prevalence of skin cancer in County Galway, Ireland, in: Proceedings of the 6th National Cancer Conference, pp. 489–500, Lippincott, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  35. Painter, R. B., 1975, Repair in mammalian cells: Overview, in: Molecular Mechanisms for Repair of Dna (P. C. Hanawalt and R. B. Setlow, eds.), pp. 595–600, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  36. Parrington, J. M., 1972, Ultraviolet-induced chromosome aberration and mitotic delay in human fibroblast cells, Cytogenetics 11: 117–131.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Patrick, M. H., 1977, Studies on thymine-derived UV photoproducts in Dna. I. Formation and biological role of pyrimidine adducts in Dna, Photochem. Photobiol. 25: 357–372.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pound, A. W., 1970, Induced cell proliferation and the initiation of skin tumor formation in mice by ultraviolet light, Pathology 2: 269–275.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rahn, R. O., and Stafford, R. S., 1979, Photochemistry of Dna containing iodinated cytosine, Photochem. Photobiol. 30: 449–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rauth, A. M., 1970, Effects of ultraviolet light on mammalian cells in culture, Curr. Top. Radiat. Res. 6: 195–248.Google Scholar
  41. Roberts, J. J., 1972, in: Molecular and Cellular Repair Processes (R. F. Beers, R. Herriott, and R. Tilghman, eds.), p. 238ff, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  42. Rommelaere, J., Susskind, M., and Errera, M., 1973, Chromosome and chromatid exchanges in Chinese hamster cells, Chromosoma 41: 243–257.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Segi, M., 1963, World incidence and distribution of skin cancer, in: Monograph No. 10, National Cancer Institute ( F. Urbach and H. L. Stewart, eds.), Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  44. Setlow, R. B., 1968, The photochemistry, photobiology, and repair of polynucleotides, Prog. Nucleic Acid Res. Mol. Biol. 8: 257ff.Google Scholar
  45. Setlow, R. B., Carrier, W. L., and Bollum, F. J., 1965, Pyrimidine dimers in the UV-irradiated poly dl: dC, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. Usa 53: 1111–1118.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shield, A. M., 1899, A remarkable case of multiple growths of the skin caused by exposure to the sun, Lancet 1: 22–23.Google Scholar
  47. Silverstone, H., and Gordon, D., 1966, Regional studies in skin cancer, 2nd report: Wet tropical and sub-tropical coast of Queensland, Med. J. Austr. 2: 733–740.Google Scholar
  48. Silverstone, H., and Searle, J. H. A., 1970, The epidemiology of skin cancer in Queensland: The influence of phenotype and environment, Br. J. Cancer 24: 235–252.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Smith, K. C., 1966, Physical and chemical changes induced in nucleic acids by UV light, Radial. Res. Suppl. 6: 54–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Smith, K. C., and Hanawalt, P. C., 1969, Molecular Photobiology, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  51. Sutherland, B. M., 1974, Photoreactivating enzyme from human leukocytes, Nature (London) 248: 109–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Unna, P. G., 1894, Die Histopathologie der Hautkrankheiten, A. Hirschwald, Berlin.Google Scholar
  53. Urbach, F., 1966, Ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer in man, in: Advances in Biology of Skin, Vol. Vii ( W. Montagna and R. L. Dobson, eds.), Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  54. Urbach, F., Rose, D. B., and Bonnem, M., 1972, Genetic and environmental interactions in skin carcinogenesis, in: Environment and Cancer, pp. 335–371, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Urbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Temple University School of MedicineSkin and Cancer HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations