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 How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>