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A ‘hairless’ gene is identified

New research suggests that molecular function of the “hairless” gene may explain one particular form of hair loss

A report in the April 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal explains why people with the rare balding condition “atrichia with papular lesions” lose their hair, and it identifies a strategy for reversing this hair loss.

The report shows 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 tumour suppressor gene in the skin, raising hope for developing new approaches in the treatment of skin disorders and/or some cancers.

Researchers explain that the genes identified in this study could open up new opportunities for developing mechanism-driven approaches for treatment of rare forms of hair loss.

Hairless gene identified.

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