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Korean scientists discover potential cure for baldness

/ 05:40 PM November 24, 2017

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Male pattern baldness continues to be the plight for men around the world, but a group of South Korean scientists may have found the cure.

Researchers from Yonsei University in Seoul have unraveled a potential drug candidate that aggressively targets the protein that blocks hair follicle growth.

The exciting discovery, as per The Korea Herald, may soon pioneer new forms of hair-loss treatments, which are currently limited to growth acceleration and delay of hair loss, rather than complete regeneration.

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Funded by the Korean Ministry of Science, a team led by professor Choi Kang-yell has come up with a protein called CXXC-type zinc finger protein 5, which can bind the disheveled protein that triggers hair loss.

“This newly developed substance is a first-in-class drug candidate. It is expected to become a treatment for not only hair loss and baldness but also for regenerating damaged skin tissue,” Choi explained.

Through these findings, the group managed to develop the biochemical substance, PTD-DBM, which prevents CXXC from binding with the badness-causing protein.

“Disrupting the CXXC5-Dishevelled interaction with a competitor peptide activated the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and accelerated hair regrowth and wound-induced hair follicle neogenesis,” an excerpt from the paper “Targeting of CXXC5 by a Competing Peptide Stimulates Hair Re-growth and Wound-Induced Hair Neogenesis” read.

Meanwhile, Professor Choi clarified that their findings were different from existing studies like MSD’s Propecia (finasteride), which simply slows down hair loss and cannot be applied to subjects with no hair follicles left.

The group is also aiming to forego typical side effects of hair-loss treatments, including impotence and abnormal ejaculation, caused by hormonal imbalances.

The group’s complete findings were published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology last month.  Khristian Ibarrola /ra

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TAGS: Choi Kang-yell, Cure, Male pattern baldness, South Korea, Yonsei University
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