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Natural compound in broccoli could treat devastating genetic skin disorder
Date:12/2/2007

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.


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Contact: John Fleischman
jfleischman@ascb.org
513-929-4635
American Society for Cell Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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