Navigation Links
Natural chemical found in broccoli helps combat skin blistering disease
Date:8/20/2007

Johns Hopkins scientists have found yet another reason why you should listen to your mother when she tells you to eat your vegetables. Sulforaphane, a chemical present at high levels in a precursor form in broccoli and related veggies (cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.), helps prevent the severe blistering and skin breakage brought on by the rare and potentially fatal genetic disease epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS).

The researchers treated newborn mice with a severe form of EBSso bad they all died within three dayswith a topical solution containing sulforaphane and found marked improvement; after four days more than 85 percent of the treated mice were alive and blister-free. These findings appear online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The basis of EBS, notes study author Pierre Coulombe, Ph.D., professor of biological chemistry, lies in two specific genes that make proteins known as keratins. Normally, the keratins join together and form highly resilient fibers in the lower portion of skin, helping make it durable. If either keratin is defective, they dont mesh and the lower skin tissue becomes unusually fragile and gets damaged from the mildest mechanical stress leading to blistering pain, a higher risk of infection, and in the most severe cases, death.

Humans have around 54 distinct keratins, many of which are similar in structure and function, says Coulombe. We figured we might be able to exploit this similarity and dial up a replacement by triggering the activation of a suitable signaling pathway in skin. He predicted that sulforaphane might stimulate the formation of a surrogate skin-strengthening keratin to stand in for the defective one.

The desire to learn more about sulforaphane led Coulombe and his co-workers to Paul Talalay, M.D., professor of pharmacology who had previously identified sulforaphane as a cancer-preventive agent. It turns out that treatment with low doses of sulforaphane triggers the expression of selected keratin genes in skin, says Coulombe. So we began what evolved into a highly rewarding collaboration and found it does indeed work in a mouse model for EBS.

This is the first suggestion that we may be able to treat this terrible disease, adds Talalay, a co-author of this study. And we didnt need to invent a new drug; sulforaphane is naturally found in our diet.

The team will next test whether sulforaphane can stimulate the proper keratin protein in the appropriate subset of human skin cells a vital matter for any future medical hopes. Beyond that are issues of how effective a topical application would be on human skin, which is considerably thicker than mouse skin, as well as examining the long term effects of sulforaphane treatment.

If we can clear these important hurdles, then sulforaphane can potentially be a tremendous therapeutic, with the added benefit of having anticancer properties, Coulombe says. And when you consider that the only current option for EBS is wrapping gauze around trauma-prone areas to minimize breakage, and otherwise avoiding infection and making sure blisters heal properly, then even a mild success would be a significant benefit for these patients.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nick Zagorski
443-287-2251
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Genetically modified natural killer immune cells attack, kill leukemia cells
2. UCSD discovery may help extend life of natural pesticide
3. Insight into natural cholesterol control suggests novel cholesterol-lowering therapy
4. Genetically Modified Natural Killer Immune Cells Attack, Kill Leukemia Cells
5. UCLA scientists store materials in cells natural vaults
6. Man-made wetlands effectiveness similar to natural marsh
7. Natural Killers Could Lead to New Hepatitis Treatments
8. Researchers pioneer new gene therapy technique using natural repair process
9. Tsunami-damaged coral reefs should be left to recover naturally, say scientists
10. Natural tumor suppressor in body discovered by UCSD medical researchers
11. Naturally occurring asbestos linked to lung cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/1/2017)... IDTechEx Research, a leading provider of independent market research, ... a new report, Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and Forecasts ... ... Revenues ... "Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and Forecasts 2017-2027: Machine vision, force ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... Jan. 26, 2017  Acuity Market Intelligence today ... and Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes 2017 as a ... increased adoption reflects a new understanding of the ... "Biometrics and digital identity are often perceived as ... Most , Principal of Acuity Market intelligence. "However, ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... 23, 2017  The latest mobile market research from ... dropped dramatically. The quarterly average price of a biometric ... in Q4 2016.  There are now 120 sub-$150 models ... up from just 28 a year ago at an ... Maxine Most , Acuity Market Intelligence Principal, "Biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... , ... February 22, 2017 , ... Park Systems ... free AFM Luncheon for all SPIE attendees and Park customers on ... one block from the San Jose Convention Center. The luncheon will feature a ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ProMIS Neurosciences ... treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced it has issued a scientific white paper ... one of a series of commentaries from ProMIS’s scientific team offering insight into ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Iowa , Feb. 22, 2017 Origin (Origin Agritech, ... biotechnology trait and seed provider, and Arcadia ... company that develops and commercializes agricultural productivity traits and nutritional products, ... key corn biotechnology product developed in China ... global regulatory trials. ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 22, 2017 ... announced today expansion of its translational research program ... through establishment of laboratory facilities in San Diego.  ... San Diego BioLabs facility, a biotechnology incubator sponsored ... Sanofi. In November 2016, the Company ...
Breaking Biology Technology: