News of the WeekDevelopmental Biology

Hairy Mice Offer Hope for Baldness Remedy

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Science  27 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5394, pp. 1617
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5394.1617b

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Summary

Recently, researchers have linked overactivity in one of the cell's major biochemical routes for relaying developmental messages to the nucleus, the Wnt signaling pathway, to colon and other cancers (Science, 4 September, pp. 1438 and 1509). Now, in work reported in the 25 November issue of Cell, researchers have shown that a key player in that pathway, a protein called b-catenin, can stimulate the growth of new hair follicles in mice. The team sees the finding as a possible first step toward a baldness remedy, but they will have to be very careful that such tinkering doesn't trigger tumors--as happened with their hirsute mice.

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