Posted on Jan 21, 2019, 11 p.m.
JARID2 proteins may hold the key to gene therapies for skin problems such as psoriasis which affects over 100 million people around the globe.
Protein fragments coming from of a larger molecule called JARID2 which was previously believed to only be present in developing embryos coordinating formation of tissues and organs. Researchers from the University of Birmingham’s School of Biosciences have found a shortened form in adult skin cells that is responsible for ensuring these skin cells differentiate.
Skin cells are pushed to the skin surface too quickly due to rapid reproduction, which results in a build-up of cells that aren’t fully mature on the skin surface, causing flaky crusty red patches covered with silvery scales, in a process which is known as the cause of psoriasis.
The protein fragment was shown to be present in the skin layers, where it is, and where it is responsible for ensuring that the tissue maintain their usual state of differentiation necessary to properly form skin layers, as published in the EMBRO Journal.
Discovery has been filed for a broad based patent by the University of Birmingham Enterprise covering its use in therapies aimed towards conditions caused by hyper proliferation of skin cells. How the protein fragment is generated and its wider implications in disease, are being investigated to discover therapies for skin conditions.
Materials provided by University of Birmingham.
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Diaa Al‐Raawi, Rhian Jones, Susanne Wijesinghe, John Halsall, Marija Petric, Sally Roberts, Neil A Hotchin, Aditi Kanhere. A novel form of JARID2 is required for differentiation in lineage‐committed cells. The EMBO Journal, 2018; e98449 DOI: 10.15252/embj.201798449