"This study maps how skin development starts, from the earliest stages," said Rui Yi, senior author of the paper published online today in the journal Developmental Cell.
Thousands of people undergo skin grafts each year to repair burns, birth defects or wounds. Medical advancements, including the advent of stem cell therapy which uses the patient's own skin cells to grow new skin, have improved skin transplants. But replacement skin often lacks important features like hair follicles, sweat glands or nerve endings.
Skin - System - Regeneration - Yi - Associate
"Skin is an incredibly complex system and the regeneration we are doing now is not even close to duplicating it," said Yi, an associate professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. "The overarching goal is to someday be able to regenerate fully functional skin, and to do that, we have to know, fundamentally, what happens at the beginning."
For the study, Yi and postdoctoral associate Xiying Fan used state-of-the-art genomic tools and DNA sequencing techniques to observe what happens inside embryonic progenitor cells of mice as they coordinate to form skin.
Study - Transcription - Factor - Type - Protein
The study focused on a transcription factor, a type of protein that can read genetic information from the genome, called p63, found mostly in skin cells and long-known to play a critical role in skin formation. Previous studies have shown that mice born without p63 have no skin and malformed limbs. Humans with p63 mutations often have cleft lips or other...
Wake Up To Breaking News!