Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) have found that an enzyme associated with the synthesis of fat in the body is also an element in healthy skin and hair.
The enzyme is acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 or DGAT1. Mice that lack DGAT1 have many interesting characteristics. For example, they are lean, resistant to diet-induced obesity, are more sensitive to insulin and leptin, and have abnormalities in mammary gland development and skin.
When Gladstone researchers in the laboratory of Robert V. Farese, Jr. used genetic engineering to delete the enzyme in mice, they found that lack of DGAT1 caused levels of retinoic acid (RA) to be greatly increased in skin and resulted in the loss of hair. Their findings were reported in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
"For some time, we have been studying the enzymes that make triglycerides," said Robert V. Farese, Jr., senior investigator and senior author on the study. "We found that one of these enzymes is a major regulator of retinoic acid actions in the skin."
RA, which comes from vitamin A (retinol) has been used to treat skin disorders, such as acne and psoriasis, and certain cancers, but it is fairly toxic and must be carefully controlled.
In mice without DGAT1, the skin was very sensitive to retinol. The loss of DGAT1 also caused alopecia, or hair loss. Both of these effects could be prevented by depriving the mice of a source of retinol in their diet. It turns out that DGAT1 can convert retinol to a relatively inert storage form. Without DGAT1, this ability is lost, and any excess retinol in the skin can be converted to RA.
"Our results show that DGAT1 is an important component for controlling retinoic acid levels in the skin of mice," said Michelle Shih, the lead author on the study. "These findings may have implications for the treatment of human skin or hair disorders."
Valerie Tucker | EurekAlert!
Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Migrating Cells: Folds in the cell membrane supply material for necessary blebs
23.11.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences