Navigation Links
Columbia geneticists uncover new gene involved in determining hair texture and density in humans
Date:2/25/2008

NEW YORK (Feb. 25, 2008) A Columbia University Medical Center research team has discovered a new gene involved in determining hair texture in humans. The team's genetic analysis demonstrated that mutations in a gene, known as P2RY5, cause hereditary "woolly hair" hair that is coarse, dry, tightly curled and sparse.

"Our findings indicate that mutations in the P2RY5 gene cause hereditary woolly hair. This is significant as it represents the discovery of the first new gene whose primary function seems to be the determination of hair texture in humans," said lead author Angela M. Christiano, Ph.D., the Richard and Mildred Rhodebeck Professor of Dermatology and Genetics & Development, at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

"This genetic finding may inform the development of new treatments for excessive or unwanted hair, or potentially hair growth." added Dr. Christiano.

Findings were published in an online edition of Nature Genetics at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 24, 2008. The paper will appear in the journal's March print issue.

The genetic causes of hair texture in humans are largely unknown. Hair shafts emerge from the surface of the skin and display wide variability in texture and color among individuals of different populations around the world.

Since research has shown that woolly hair was common among Pakistani families, Dr. Christiano and her colleagues set out to determine why this type of hair was specific to this group of people. They hoped that finding the genetic basis of this unique type of hair would help them to distinguish other genetic hair types, and to learn more about the genetic underpinnings of different hair textures.

Much of Dr. Christiano's research has focused on dermatologic variants found in Pakistani families, as they often represent ideal subjects for genetic analyses as they tend to be relatively homogeneous, with close-knit families that tend to live nearby one another, and often intermarry.

To identify a gene involved in controlling hair texture, Dr. Christiano and her team performed a genetic analysis of six families of Pakistani origin, who all shared hereditary woolly hair. The cause of hereditary woolly hair was found to be a mutation in a gene called P2RY5. Until this discovery, the pathogenesis of hereditary woolly hair had been largely unknown.

As the authors write in the paper, "The bulb region of plucked hairs from woolly hair patients showed irregular bending without attachment of the root sheath." They propose that mutations in P2RY5 most likely result in hair follicle disruptions, which then compromise its anchoring to the hair shaft and cause the abnormal bending of the bulb region, leading to woolly hair.

Dr. Christiano's discoveries have led to the identification of several genes controlling human hair growth. It remains to be determined whether common variants on the P2RY5 gene can also contribute to naturally occurring variations in hair texture between different human populations.

According to the researchers, P2RY5 is the first gene of a type known as a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) implicated in a human hair disorder thereby making it possible to develop drugs that target this receptor. GPCRs represent the largest known class of molecular targets with proven therapeutic value. It is estimated that more than 40 percent of existing drugs work by targeting GPCR drug targets; this target class represents a large fraction of the total biological targets against which FDA-approved oral drugs are directed. Of the top 200 best-selling prescription drugs more than 20 percent interact with GPCRs, providing worldwide sales of over $20 billion.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Streich
eas2125@columbia.edu
212-305-6535
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Columbia to award 2007 Horwitz Prize to three generations of teacher-student scientists
2. 3 Columbia University Medical Center faculty elected to Institute of Medicine
3. Columbia researchers: Growth of CT scan use may lead to significant public health problem
4. Plant geneticists find veritas in vino
5. St. Jude influenza survey uncovers key differences between bird flu and human flu
6. 454 Sequencing uncovers a genetic basis for different social behaviors in wasp
7. Joslin researchers uncover potential role of leptin in diabetes
8. Agent that triggers immune response in plants is uncovered
9. UD plant biologists uncover top wetland plants hidden weapon
10. Massive microRNA scan uncovers leads to treating muscle degeneration
11. Scientists uncover how hormones achieve their effects
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/1/2016)... NEW YORK , June 1, 2016 ... Biometric Technology in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to ... According to a recently released TechSci Research report, " ... Sector, By Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - ... $ 24.8 billion by 2021, on account of growing ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC , a ... the opening of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... expand the development of embedded iris biometric applications. ... of convenience and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making ... aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric ... Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system ... ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions with ... fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages the ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics ... development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class ... Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting ... significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 ... for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA ... Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a ... STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Andrew D Zelenetz , ... Published recently in Oncology & ... Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses the fact ... placing an increasing burden on healthcare systems worldwide, ... the patents on many biologics expiring, interest in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: