View Full Version : Cure for baldness? Marie Unna hereditary hypotrichosis (MUHH)

01-08-2009, 11:43 AM
Does anyone know anything about this "possible cure for baldness" several articles are writing that this childhood baldness gene has been found. All the articles read like stereo instructions to me, can anyone please explain how the connection between the U2HR gene and Marie Unna hereditary hypotrichosis (MUHH) will lead us to a CURE? I read about it a few places, here are some links:

This is from the Nature Genetics website:

Marie Unna hereditary hypotrichosis (MUHH) is an autosomal dominant form of genetic hair loss. In a large Chinese family carrying MUHH, we identified a pathogenic initiation codon mutation in U2HR, an inhibitory upstream ORF in the 5' UTR of the gene encoding the human hairless homolog (HR). U2HR is predicted to encode a 34–amino acid peptide that is highly conserved among mammals. In 18 more families from different ancestral groups, we identified a range of defects in U2HR, including loss of initiation, delayed termination codon and nonsense and missense mutations. Functional analysis showed that these classes of mutations all resulted in increased translation of the main HR physiological ORF. Our results establish the link between MUHH and U2HR, show that fine-tuning of HR protein levels is important in control of hair growth, and identify a potential mechanism for preventing hair loss or promoting hair removal.


I'm not sure what any of it means, but the possible cure part has me really interested.

young trone
02-26-2009, 01:05 AM
The article has gotten a lot of press because it is a slightly novel mutation mechanism for a gene. As for how it could lead to a cure, I guess there's two parts to that.

- If you have Marie Unna Hereditary Hypotrichosis, then this is likely (but not definitely) the underlying genetic cause of your disorder. The result of the mutation is too much Hairless protein. Since the permanent hair loss doesn't occur till puberty in people with MUHH, IN THEORY there is enough time to treat and alter Hairless protein levels to prevent that from happening.

- If you have general hair loss, then this is just one step along the path to potentially curing other forms of baldness. Every bit of understanding we gain for how hair grows and cycles is a step closing to being able to do something about it. But, for the most part, any researcher will say his work has moved us closer to a cure because ... well ... that's the point!