Nicotinamide enhances repair of ultraviolet radiation-induced DNA damage in primary melanocytes

Exp Dermatol. 2014 Jul;23(7):509-11. doi: 10.1111/exd.12430.


Cutaneous melanoma is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Nicotinamide is a safe, widely available vitamin that reduces the immune suppressive effects of UV, enhances DNA repair in keratinocytes and has shown promise in the chemoprevention of non-melanoma skin cancer. Here, we report the effect of nicotinamide on DNA damage and repair in primary human melanocytes. Nicotinamide significantly enhanced the repair of oxidative DNA damage (8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine) and cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers induced by UV exposure. It also enhanced the repair of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine induced by the culture conditions in unirradiated melanocytes. A significant increase in the percentage of melanocytes undergoing unscheduled but not scheduled DNA synthesis was observed, confirming that nicotinamide enhances DNA repair in human melanocytes. In summary, nicotinamide, by enhancing DNA repair in melanocytes, is a potential agent for the chemoprevention of cutaneous melanoma.

Keywords: Niacinamide; UV; genetic damage; melanoma; vitamin B3.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Damage / drug effects*
  • DNA Repair
  • Humans
  • Melanocytes / cytology*
  • Melanocytes / radiation effects
  • Melanoma / etiology
  • Melanoma / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / prevention & control
  • Niacinamide / chemistry*
  • Oxygen / chemistry
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Niacinamide
  • Oxygen