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Protein Critical for Hair Follicle Development and Growth

Laminin-511 is important for proper development of the dermal papilla, mouse study shows

TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A protein involved in cell adhesion and signaling is critical for the proper development of the dermal papilla, an important part of the hair follicle required for hair growth, researchers report in the Aug. 1 issue of Genes & Development.

Jing Gao, M.D., from Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., and colleagues investigated how laminin-511 controls hair morphogenesis by generating mice lacking the gene.

The researchers found that dermal papilla from the mice showed defects during embryonic development due to lack of expression of a key signaling molecule. The length and structure of primary cilia, microtubule-based signaling organelles, were also decreased in dermal papilla from these mice. The integrin-beta-1 binding domain of laminin-511 was required for hair development, and inhibition of the integrin disrupted both dermal papilla primary cilia formation and hair development.

"These studies show that epithelial-derived laminin-511 is a critical early signal, which directs ciliary function and dermal papilla maintenance as a requirement for hair follicle downgrowth," Gao and colleagues conclude.

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