Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene that regulates hair growth identified

Date:
April 18, 2010
Source:
Expertanswer
Summary:
Activation of the gene Lhx2 leads to increased hair growth. The findings partly refute earlier research results in the field.

Activation of the gene Lhx2 leads to increased hair growth.
Credit: iStockphoto/Katarzyna Krawiec

Activation of the gene Lhx2 leads to increased hair growth. This is shown by Leif Carlsson's research team at Umeε University in Sweden in an article in the latest web edition of the scientific journal PLoS Genetics. The findings partly refute earlier research results in the field.

Hair is important for temperature regulation, physical protection, sensory activity, seasonal camouflage, and social interactions. Hair is formed in hair follicles, which are complex mini-organs in the skin that are specialized for this purpose. All hair follicles are formed during fetal development, then new hair is generated in the hair follicle by continually undergoing phases of recession, rest, and growth throughout life. The length of the hair is determined by the duration of the growth phase; for example, the growth phase for scalp hair can proceed for a number of years, while the growth phase for eyebrows last a few months.

After the growth phase, hair formation ceases, and the follicle recedes and enters a period of rest. After a period of rest, a new growth period starts, and the old hair is ejected and lost from the body. The reason for this complex regulation of hair growth is not understood, but it has been suggested that it makes it possible to adjust hair growth to the season.

In the present study Leif Carlsson's research team identifies the transcription factor Lhx2 as an important regulator of hair formation. The Lhx2 gene is active during the hair follicle's growth phase and is turned off during the resting period. The scientists have been able to show that Lhx2 is functionally involved in the formation of hair, as hair follicles in which Lhx2 has been inactivated cannot produce hair. Moreover, the activation of the Lhx2 gene in hair follicles has been shown to activate the growth phase and hence the formation of hair. Thus, Lhx2 is a gene that is important for the regulation of hair growth.

In stark contrast to previously published research findings from other teams of scientists, Leif Carlsson and his colleagues found that Lhx2 is primarily expressed outside the so-called bulge region of the hair follicle, where the follicle's stem cells are found. The Umeε researchers have also shown that Lhx2 is necessary for the hair follicle's growth (anagen) phase to proceed and for the hair follicle's structuring. Moreover, transgenic expression of Lhx2 after birth is sufficient to activate the growth phase and stimulate hair growth.

These findings allow for an alternative interpretation of the function of Lhx2 in hair follicles compared with previous results. Lhx2 is expressed periodically, primarily in precursor cells that are distinct from the cells in the bulging region of the follicles. It is a factor that is necessary for hair to be formed and to grow.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Tφrnqvist et al. Cyclic Expression of Lhx2 Regulates Hair Formation. PLoS Genetics, 2010; 6 (4): e1000904 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000904

Cite This Page:

Expertanswer. "Gene that regulates hair growth identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415085317.htm>.
Expertanswer. (2010, April 18). Gene that regulates hair growth identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415085317.htm
Expertanswer. "Gene that regulates hair growth identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415085317.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) — Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) — Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) — Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 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