Gene may open door for improved keloid, scar treatment

January 23, 2015

DETROIT - Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have identified a gene that may offer a better understanding of how keloid scars develop and potentially open the door to improved treatment for the often painful, itchy and tender scars.

The study is the first to demonstrate that an altered AHNAK gene may have a significant biological role in keloid development.

"This finding has great promise for better understanding how keloids function and offer a potential target for improved and novel treatments," says study lead author Lamont R. Jones, M.D., Vice Chair, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.

"We now have a better understanding of how this gene fits in the broader picture of the wound healing process, which may be important in preventing scars in general."

Study results will be presented today, Jan. 23, at the 2015 Triological Combined Sections Meeting in San Diego.

Keloid scars form raised, firm skin areas and most often occur on the chest, shoulders, earlobes (following ear piercing), upper arms and cheeks. Unlike regular scars, keloids do not subside over time and often extend outside the wound site.

The lowest rates of keloid formation have been documented in albinos and the highest seen in dark skinned individuals, especially in the African-American population.

Treatment for keloids includes cortisone injections, pressure dressings, silicone gels, surgery, cryosurgery (freezing), laser treatment, or radiation therapy. A combination of treatments may be used, depending on the individual. In some cases, keloids return after treatment, up to 50 to 100 percent of the time.

AHNAK is a 700 kDa protein located on the cell membrane in epithelial cells and in the nucleus and cytoplasm of other cell types such as fibroblasts. AHNAK has been suspected to contribute to cell-cell adhesion or exocytosis.

For their study, Dr. Jones and his colleges investigated AHNAK as a potential biomarker in keloids through the integration of methylation and gene expression.

To do so, the Henry Ford team examined samples of fresh keloid tissue and fresh normal tissue for AHNAK expression.

Three of the five keloid samples showed a large reduction in expression as compared to the normal tissue.

In this small sample, gene expression was consistent with methylation, a process that allows the researchers to look for genetic abnormalities within tumor samples.

"Identifying AHNAK puts our translational research one step closer to moving from the bench to the bedside," says Dr. Jones.
-end-
In addition to Dr. Jones, study co-authors from Henry Ford are Joshua Greene, M.D.; Kang Mei Chen, M.D.; George Divine, Ph.D.; Dhananjay Chitale, M.D.; Veena Shah, M.D.; and Maria J. Worsham, Ph.D.

Henry Ford Health System

Related Methylation Articles from Brightsurf:

Identification of distinct loci for de novo DNA methylation by DNMT3A and DNMT3B during mammalian development
A research team working at The University of Tokyo and Kyoto University in Japan has announced that they have successfully identified specific target sites for the DNA methylases DNMT3A and DNMT3B .

New insights into epigenetic modifications
Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Rome, in collaboration with Tim Bestor at Columbia University in New York and John Edwards at Washington University in St.

From bacteria to you: The biological reactions that sustain our rhythms
Methylation and the circadian clock are both conserved mechanisms found in all organisms.

Large-scale analysis of protein arginine methylation by mass spectrometry
In this research, the researchers offer an overview on state-of-the-art approaches for the high-confidence identification and accurate quantification of protein arginine methylation by high-resolution mass spectrometry methods, which comprise the development of both biochemical and bioinformatics methods.

Oncotarget: DNA methylation of MMPs and TIMPs in atherothrombosis process in carotid plaques
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 10 reported that the statistically associated Cp G sites were analyzed in blood samples from two separate atherothrombotic stroke cohorts, ischemic stroke-cohort 1: 37 atherothrombotic patients and 6 controls, ischemic stroke-cohort 2: 80 atherothrombotic patients and 184 controls.

Stressed corals set up progeny for a better life
First evidence that animal DNA methylation patterns can be passed to the next generation.

RNA modification -- Methylation and mopping up
Ludwig-Maximilian-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have discovered a novel type of chemical modification in bacterial RNAs.

Structural and biochemical studies clarify the methylation mechanism of anticodon in tRNA
Groups in Ehime University, Japan and the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Japan have solved the crystal structure of the eukaryotic Trm7-TRm734 complex, which methylates the ribose at the first position of anticodon in tRNA.

First glimpse at what ancient Denisovans may have looked like, using DNA methylation data
Exactly what our ancient Denisovan relatives might have looked like had been anyone's guess for a simple reason: the entire collection of Denisovan remains includes a pinky bone, three teeth, and a lower jaw.

Methylation of microRNA may be a new powerful biomarker for cancer
Researchers from Osaka University found that levels of methylated microRNA were significantly higher in tissue and serum from cancer patients compared with that from normal controls.

Read More: Methylation News and Methylation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.