Navigation Links
Natural compound in broccoli could treat devastating genetic skin disorder

Washington, D.C. -- The compound sulforaphane whose natural precursors are found at high levels in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables has been hailed for its chemopreventive powers against cancer. Now sulforaphane has demonstrated new skills in treating a genetic skin blistering disorder called epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), Pierre Coulombe and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore report at the American Society for Cell Biology 47th Annual Meeting.

EBS is a rare but devastating inherited condition in which fluid-filled lesions called bullae appear at sites of frictional trauma to the skin. Unfortunately, treatment options for EBS are limited and palliative in nature. Much work remains to be done before sulforaphane can be tested clinically with EBS patients, but Coulombe notes that extracts from broccoli sprouts rich in sulforaphane have already been shown to be safe for use in human skin.

In EBS patients, the bottom layer of the epidermis, which is made of cells called keratinocytes, is unusually fragile and ruptures readily. Molecularly, most cases of EBS result from mutations in genes that produce the proteins keratin 5 (K5) and keratin 14 (K14). These proteins co-polymerize to form the intermediate filament cytoskeleton in basal keratinocytes. Since the discovery in 1991 that EBS is a keratin-based disease, more than 40 additional disorders affecting a broad range of tissues have been traced to defects in genes that encode intermediate filament proteins.

Coulombe and colleagues turned to sulforaphane in their search for a chemical activator that would induce the production of missing keratins in basal epidermis. There are 54 conserved keratin proteins in mammals -- meaning that evolution favored their survival. Many of these keratins are closely related in their genetic sequences and their properties and by their distribution within epithelial tissues. Coulombe reasoned that such a situation breeds functional redundancy, meaning that the genetic loss of one keratin could be partially rescued by the overlapping functions of a keratin cousin.

Could this partial redundancy serve as the basis for therapy in EBS and related conditions? Coulombe was guided by prior evidence that partial redundancy was at work. In EBS patients, skin blisters heal without scarring, correlating with an induction in the expression of the protein K6, to which K5 is related, and of K17 and K16, to which K14 is related. In transgenic mouse models, these keratins are indeed partially redundant in their ability to provide structural support in skin keratinocytes.

Sulforaphane was originally identified by Johns Hopkins colleague, Paul Talalay, as the chemical entity in cruciferous vegetables responsible for its anti-cancer properties. As originally reported in the August 2007 issue of PNAS, the researchers found that exposing keratinocytes to sulforaphane caused the selective induction of keratins 16 and 17. Moving to an EBS mouse model with a K14 deficiency, they found that treatment with sulforaphane significantly reduced epidermal blistering while it was ineffective for a K5 deficient mouse.


Contact: John Fleischman
American Society for Cell Biology

Related biology news :

1. Natural chemical found in broccoli helps combat skin blistering disease
2. Natural insecticide re-created in the lab
3. Researchers develop simple method to create natural drug products
4. Brains timing linked with timescales of the natural visual world
5. Alternative methods proposed to detect pesticides and antibiotics in water and natural food
6. Naturally-occurring apple compounds reduce risk of pancreatic cancer
7. New membrane strips carbon dioxide from natural gas faster and better
8. Natural product discovery by Cleveland medical researchers blocks tissue destruction
9. MU researchers go nano, natural and green
10. Researchers discover natural herbicide released by grass
11. Baker Institute finds increased domestic production wont make US self-sufficient in natural gas
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... -- Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. Dick W. ... --> --> Mr. Boyce ... at TPG Capital, one of the largest global investment ... revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating Group, which ... 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, he served ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever that ... muscular dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead for ... Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and ... . Cell, pinpoints a ... "escape" the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab of ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology company ... to announce that it will be a Sponsor of the ... be held November 17-19 in Hamburg , ... iMedNet , MedNet,s easy-to-use, proven and affordable ... been able to deliver time and cost savings of up ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ) will be ... York on Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 ... CEO, will provide a corporate overview. th Annual ... 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT . Jim Mazzola , ... corporate overview. --> th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: ... behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as ... no corporate developments that would cause the recent movements ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by ... known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , ... have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation (or 1,100,000 pre-share ... "Series B Warrants") subject to the previously disclosed ... 23, 2015, which will result in the issuance ... to the issuance of such shares, there will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: