Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene that regulates hair growth identified

15.04.2010
Activation of the gene Lhx2 leads to increased hair growth. This is shown by Leif Carlsson's research team at Umeå University in Sweden in an article in the latest Web edition of the respected 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 Umeå 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.

Article in Plos: Cyclic Expression of Lhx2 Regulates Hair Formation.
Gunilla Törnqvist, Anna Sandberg, Anna-Carin Hägglund, Leif Carlsson
For more information, please contact Professor Leif Carlsson, Umeå Center for Molecular Medicine (UCMM), Umeå University at:

Phone: +46 (0)90-785 44 36 ; Mobile: +46 (0)70-374 79 51 ; E-mail leif.carlsson@ucmm.umu.se

Pressofficer Hans Fällman; hans.fallman@adm.umu.se; +46-70 691 28 29

Hans Fällman | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1000904

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
21.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>