Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Important New Hair-loss Gene Discovered

Date:
October 16, 2008
Source:
University of Bonn
Summary:
Scientists have discovered an important hair-loss gene. In 2005, these scientists had already characterized the first hair-loss gene inherited through the maternal line, which explained why hair-loss in men often reflects that of their maternal grandfathers. This newly discovered gene, on the other hand, may now account for the similarity in cranial hair growth between father and son.

Scientists have discovered an important hair-loss gene.
Credit: iStockphoto/Lori Lee Miller

Scientists at Bonn and Düsseldorf Universities have discovered an important hair-loss gene. During their study, the researchers investigated over 500,000 positions in the human genome, and found a gene variant which occurs clearly more frequently in bald men than in control persons. 

In 2005, these scientists had already characterized the first hair-loss gene inherited through the maternal line, which explained why hair-loss in men often reflects that of their maternal grandfathers. This newly discovered gene, on the other hand, may now account for the similarity in cranial hair growth between father and son.

The researchers had concentrated their attention on the genomes of just under 300 men suffering from marked hair loss, investigating for this purpose over 500,000 variable sites in the genomes of their test subjects. Two positions frequently displayed a clear correspondence with baldness in these men – a clear indication that the genes located at those points were involved in hair-loss. "In one of these conspicuous regions lies the gene for the androgen receptor", Dr. Axel Hillmer of the Life & Brain Forschungszentrum (research centre) in Bonn states. "We had already learnt from an earlier study that this receptor was linked to hair loss. However, the other region was new to us".

This is only the second region of the genome that can definitely be associated with premature hair-loss. "We are now trying to discover the role played by this genomic region in hair-growth", says Dr. Felix Brockschmidt of Bonn University. "Only then will we know whether we on the right track for new forms of therapy for male hair-loss".

The study was conducted by the research teams headed by Professor Dr. Markus Nöthen (Bonn University´s Institute of Human Genetics and Life & Brain-Center) and Privatdozent Dr. Roland Kruse (Department of Dermatology, University Clinic Düsseldorf). Over a period of years, the scientists had collected blood samples from affected males all over Germany. As part of their study, they have been able to confirm their findings through additional sufferers in Australia. The Australian research team is headed by Nicholas Martin (Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane).

If the father is bald, the son is also at risk

The results reveal that more than one gene is involved in the development of male hair-loss. These results also throw interesting light on the inheritance of baldness in that hitherto the only known risk gene for the androgen receptor lay on the X-chromosome, and was thus inherited from the mother – which accounts for the fact that in the case of hair-loss men often take after their maternal grandfathers. However, the newly discovered gene lies on chromosome 20, and can be inherited from both the mother and the father. "This helps to provide an explanation for the similarity between father and son", declares Professor Nöthen.

The research conducted by Professor Nöthen and Dr. Kruse is being supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Prof. Nöthen occupies the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Chair for Genetic Medicine. The Life & Brain Zentrum is a new research centre of the University Clinic in Bonn, which is dedicated to practically orientated research into the causes of disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bonn. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hillmer et al. Susceptibility variants for male-pattern baldness on chromosome 20p11. Nature Genetics, October 12, 2008; DOI: 10.1038/ng.228

Cite This Page:

University of Bonn. "Important New Hair-loss Gene Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081012164439.htm>.
University of Bonn. (2008, October 16). Important New Hair-loss Gene Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081012164439.htm
University of Bonn. "Important New Hair-loss Gene Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081012164439.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins