Often in today’s day and age one’s self image of beauty has become more powerful than ever. Unfortunately, due to genetic disease that may influence hair loss, one’s self confidence can be jeopardized overtime. Some of the known diseases causing hair loss are hypotrichosis simplex or androgenic alopecia, otherwise known as male-pattern baldness. Fortunately, a discovery made by researchers at the University Hospital of Bonn in Germany allowed geneticists to take one step closer in cracking the code of all the various genes that may cause hair loss in those affected with hypotrichosis simplex.
Prior to this discovery it was supposed that a mutation in the APCDD1 gene may be the culprit because such a mutation would interfere with a crucial signaling pathway that plays a role in cell regeneration. Nevertheless, from the research conducted, data indicates that a mutation in the gene which encodes lanosterol synthase (LSS) is actually responsible. Important in cholesterol metabolism, this enzyme impacts the metabolic pathway that regulates the health of hair follicles. After further investigation it was observed that in affected individuals, those with the mutated gene, LSS leaks into the cytosol. However, in those who carry the normal gene, LSS only remains in the endoplasmic reticulum.
Although the leader of the research team concludes how they are not able to identify the exact reason for hair loss, I feel as if this new piece of information definitely puts scientists on the right track. By making advances in the field hopefully this could lead to forming more effective treatments for this disease. Where the improved treatments countering hair loss could potentially be applied to cancer patients as well.