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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of differentially expressed genes during a wool follicle growth cycle induced by prolactin.

The wool follicles of New Zealand Wiltshire sheep can be induced to undergo growth cycles by manipulating circulating prolactin levels. Altered patterns of gene expression through this cycle were examined using differential display, and nine sequence tags for differentially expressed genes were isolated. Four of these tags were identified as fragments of known genes, encoding a wool keratin, KRTAP3.2, a desmosome component, desmoglein 1, an epithelial cell marker, stratifin, and a protein kinase, Clk3. All four genes were shown to be downregulated in telogen skin compared with anagen. In situ hybridization showed that all had localization patterns which included cells that are absent in telogen. The stratifin tag was used to clone a cDNA that incorporated a complete open-reading frame for ovine stratifin. Ovine stratifin is similar to the human form, showing only six single residue differences in the predicted amino acid sequence. Stratifin probably acts as a regulator of other proteins involved in trichocyte cell cycling and differentiation. Clk3 is involved in regulating RNA splicing. KRTAP3.2 and Dsg1 both play structural roles in hair follicles. The other five tags, including two representing genes that were upregulated during catagen, could not be identified by homology. Differential display is an effective means of identifying genes involved in follicle function and, potentially, of genes controlling the growth cycle.[1]


  1. Identification of differentially expressed genes during a wool follicle growth cycle induced by prolactin. Rufaut, N.W., Pearson, A.J., Nixon, A.J., Wheeler, T.T., Wilkins, R.J. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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