Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human 'hairless' gene identified: One form of baldness explained

Date:
April 1, 2014
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
It's not a hair-brained idea: A new research report explains why people with a rare balding condition called 'atrichia with papular lesions' lose their hair, and it identifies a strategy for reversing this hair loss. "Identification of hairless as a histone demethylase may shed new insights into its mechanism of action in regulating skin and hair disorders," said the lead author.

It's not a hair-brained idea: A new research report appearing in the April 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal explains why people with a rare balding condition called "atrichia with papular lesions" lose their hair, and it identifies a strategy for reversing this hair loss. Specifically the report shows for the first time that the "human hairless gene" imparts an essential role in hair biology by regulating a subset of other hair genes. This newly discovered molecular function likely explains why mutations in the hairless gene contribute to the pathogenesis of atrichia with papular lesions. In addition, this gene also has also been shown to function as a tumor suppressor gene in the skin, raising hope for developing new approaches in the treatment of skin disorders and/or some cancers.

Related Articles


"Identification of hairless as a histone demethylase may shed new insights into its mechanism of action in regulating skin and hair disorders," said Angela M. Christiano, Ph.D., FACMG, a researcher involved in the work from the Departments of Dermatology and Genetics and Development at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, NY. "The genes identified in this study could open up new opportunities for developing mechanism-driven approaches for future prevention or treatment of skin diseases including skin cancer and rare forms of hair loss."

To make their discovery, Christiano and colleagues defined the histone demethylase function of the human hairless gene, both in vitro and using cultured human cells. When the hairless protein was mixed with specific histone substrates under defined reaction conditions, the hairless protein causes a reduction in the level of methylation modification of the histone substrates. Similarly, upon expression of normal hairless protein, but not a mutant form of the hairless protein, researchers observed a drastic loss of histone methylation in human cells. This suggests that this may be the "on/off" switch for hair growth as well as a promising target for some types of skin disease.

"Humans have tried everything to keep their hair, from snake oils to spray-on bald spot solutions," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Now, however, we are finally getting to the root of the problem to manipulate one of the switches that control hair growth."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. Liu, H. Kim, A. Casta, Y. Kobayashi, L. S. Shapiro, A. M. Christiano. Hairless is a histone H3K9 demethylase. The FASEB Journal, 2013; 28 (4): 1534 DOI: 10.1096/fj.13-237677

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Human 'hairless' gene identified: One form of baldness explained." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401112113.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2014, April 1). Human 'hairless' gene identified: One form of baldness explained. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401112113.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Human 'hairless' gene identified: One form of baldness explained." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401112113.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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