The Bald Truth About Lipids

Science's STKE  14 Nov 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 361, pp. tw390
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3612006tw390

Hair loss can be traumatic, whether it is linked to illness or simply part of the natural aging process, and there is considerable interest in dissecting its underlying mechanisms. Kazantseva et al. identify a culprit gene in a group of Russian families who show an inherited deficiency in hair growth but are otherwise healthy. The mutant gene, LIPH, encodes lipase H, a phospholipase thought to regulate the production of lipid signaling molecules. This discovery will likely stimulate investigations aimed at understanding the precise role of lipase H in hair follicle biology and whether the LIPH gene also contributes to the more common forms of baldness in the general population.

A. Kazantseva, A. Goltsov, R. Zinchenko, A. P. Grigorenko, A. V. Abrukova, Y. K. Moliaka, A. G. Kirillov, Z. Guo, S. Lyle, E. K. Ginter, E. I. Rogaev, Human hair growth deficiency is linked to a genetic defect in the phospholipase gene LIPH. Science 314, 982-985 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]