Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Important new hair-loss gene discovered

Scientists at Bonn and Düsseldorf Universities have discovered an important hair-loss gene.

During their study, the researchers investigated over 500,000 positions in the human genome, and found a gene variant which occurs clearly more frequently in bald men than in control persons.

The results are to be published in the November issue of the journal “Nature Genetics” (online publication on October 12th 2008 18:00 London time, doi: 10.1038/ng.228). In 2005, these scientists had already characterized the first hair-loss gene inherited through the maternal line, which explained why hair-loss in men often reflects that of their maternal grandfathers. This newly discovered gene, on the other hand, may now account for the similarity in cranial hair growth between father and son.

The researchers had concentrated their attention on the genomes of just under 300 men suffering from marked hair loss, investigating for this purpose over 500,000 variable sites in the genomes of their test subjects. Two positions frequently displayed a clear correspondence with baldness in these men – a clear indication that the genes located at those points were involved in hair-loss. “In one of these conspicuous regions lies the gene for the androgen receptor“, Dr. Axel Hillmer of the Life&Brain Forschungszentrum (research centre) in Bonn states. ”We had already learnt from an earlier study that this receptor was linked to hair loss. However, the other region was new to us“.

This is only the second region of the genome that can definitely be associated with premature hair-loss. “We are now trying to discover the role played by this genomic region in hair-growth”, says Dr. Felix Brockschmidt of Bonn University. “Only then will we know whether we on the right track for new forms of therapy for male hair-loss”.

The study was conducted by the research teams headed by Professor Dr. Markus Nöthen (Bonn University´s Institute of Human Genetics and Life & Brain-Center) and Privatdozent Dr. Roland Kruse (Department of Dermatology, University Clinic Düsseldorf). Over a period of years, the scientists had collected blood samples from affected males all over Germany. As part of their study, they have been able to confirm their findings through additional sufferers in Australia. The Australian research team is headed by Nicholas Martin (Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane).

If the father is bald, the son is also at risk

The results reveal that more than one gene is involved in the development of male hair-loss. These results also throw interesting light on the inheritance of baldness in that hitherto the only known risk gene for the androgen receptor lay on the X-chromosome, and was thus inherited from the mother – which accounts for the fact that in the case of hair-loss men often take after their maternal grandfathers. However, the newly discovered gene lies on chromosome 20, and can be inherited from both the mother and the father. “This helps to provide an explanation for the similarity between father and son“, declares Professor Nöthen.

The scientists suspect that other genes are also involved in premature hair-loss, and they are now looking for new volunteers to help with this research. “We are looking for men under 40 years of age who have advanced hair-loss”, says Privatdozent Dr. Kruse. “And we are also seeking men over 60 with a full head of hair as controls. All participants will receive expense allowances.“ Further information may be obtained from PD Dr. Roland Kruse, Dr. Sandra Hanneken or Dr. Sibylle Eigelshoven, Universitäts-Hautklinik Düsseldorf, telephone 0211/8116360 or e-mail

Prof. Dr. Markus M. Nöthen | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>