Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have stumbled upon the gene that causes graying hairs and baldness in mice! They were studying a rare genetic disease that causes tumors to grow on nerves and happened to find a protein called KROX20. This protein turns skin cells into hair shaft cells which leads to another protein that is a crucial factor in hair growth. When they removed the cells that produce the KROX20 protein, they saw that mice stopped growing hairs and eventually went bald.
More research is needed to understand how this process works in humans but with this knowledge, we may have found a road map to the hair growth process that will help us prevent and treat hair loss in the future. Dr. Lu Le, the lead researcher and associate professor of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said,” With this knowledge, we hope in the future to create a topical compound or to safely deliver the necessary gene to hair follicles to correct these cosmetic problems.
This is an exciting breakthrough for the whole hair restoration community!