This study was conducted to assess protective effect of an antioxidant protein, sericin, on UVB-induced acute damage and tumor promotion in mouse skin. In experiment 1, HR-1 hairless mice were treated with 180 mJ/cm2 of ultraviolet B light (UVB) once daily for 1 and 7 days. The treatment for 7 days caused red sunburn lesions of the skin. The intensity of red color and area of these lesions were inhibited by the topical application of sericin at the dose of 5 mg after UVB treatment. Immunohistochemical analyses showed that the application of sericin significantly suppressed UVB-induced elevations in 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-labeling index in the UVB-exposed epidermis. In experiment 2, HR-1 hairless mice were treated with 200 nmol of 7,12-dimethylbenz [alpha] anthracene (DMBA) followed 1 week later by irradiation with 180 mJ/ cm2 of UVB twice weekly for 22 weeks. The protective effect of sericin was evident in terms of significant reduction in tumor incidence and tumor multiplicity at the dose of 5 mg. The results suggest that sericin possesses photoprotective effect against UVB-induced acute damage and tumor promotion by reducing oxidative stress, COX-2 and cell proliferation in mouse skin.