Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Dr. Ronald Moy

Reader 2

Dr. Erin Jones

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.


p53 is the most commonly mutated gene in the progression from healthy skin to non-melanocytic skin cancer. It serves as a tumor suppressor gene and is located on the short arm of chromosome 17. It is hypothesized that p53 mutation is an indicator of the development of skin cancer and the presence of mutations indicates malignant potential. Studies show that an increased age with high levels of sun exposure are directly correlated with overexpression of p53 in epidermal skin. The advancement of dermatologic technology has allowed physicians to treat photodamaged skin. For example, looking at p53 mutation expressed before and after laser treatment may give insight to the significance of effects. In a similar manner, topical DNA repair enzymes work to protect against the development of skin cancer which may lead to reduced p53 mutation expressed. The topical DNA enzyme deployed in this study is UV endonuclease, a DNA repair enzyme derived from the UV-resistant microbe Micrococcus luteus, which enhances DNA by removing cyclobutene pyrimidine dimers induced by ultraviolet radiation. UV endonuclease repairs DNA damage on the molecular level and has been shown to clinically decrease development of pre-cancerous lesions to non-melanocytic skin cancer which led us to believe it will also decrease expression of mutated p53.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.