Channeling Hair Morphogenesis

Author(s): Xiping Cheng, Jie Jin, Lily Hu, Dongbiao Shen, Xian-ping Dong, Mohammad A. Samie, Jayne Knoff, Brian Eisinger, Mei-ling Liu, Susan M. Huang, Michael J. Caterina, Peter Dempsey, Lowell Evan Michael, Andrzej A. Dlugosz, Nancy C. Andrews, David E. Claphamsend, Haoxing Xu



Hair can be curled with a flat iron in your home or hair salon. However, studies of mice with wavy hair and curly whiskers can reveal new genes important for normal hair morphogenesis. Growth factors are known to control hair morphogenesis by regulating keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation. Mouse mutations in the Transforming Growth Factor alpha (TGF-α) gene and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) gene cause wavy/curly hair. Interestingly, Anti-EGFR cancer therapy also causes wavy/curly hair in human patients. A new study from the Xu lab on "wavy hair" mice has led to an unexpected discovery that TRPV3 gene, a calcium channel and presumed temperature sensor in the skin, is an essential regulator of EGFR signaling. TRPV3 can be a novel target to control hair growth/removal and skin cancers. This study also provides a potential mechanism to explain how environmental factors such as temperature regulate development

Publication Information:

Name of Periodical: Cell

Volume Number: 141

Issue Number: 2

Year of Publication: 2010