Editors' ChoiceMicrobiology

Vitamin B12 contributes to acne by affecting the skin microbiota

Sci. Signal.  30 Jun 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 383, pp. ec178
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aac8731

Vitamin B12 supplements lead to the development of acne. Kang et al. showed that transcriptional changes in the skin microbiota contribute to vitamin B12–induced acne. Supplementing patients with vitamin B12 reduced the expression of genes involved in vitamin B12 synthesis in Propionibacterium acnes and altered the transcriptome of the skin microbiota, resulting in the production of inflammation-inducing porphyrins by the bacteria. These studies demonstrate a clear link between changes in the skin microbiome and disease pathology.

D. Kang, B. Shi, M. C. Erfe, N. Craft, H. Li, Vitamin B12 modulates the transcriptome of the skin microbiota in acne pathogenesis. Sci. Transl. Med. 7, 293ra103 (2015). [Abstract]