Acne Genes – Latest Revolution in Acne Therapy

Acne is one of the most common dermatoses which often show up all over the face, neck, upper back, chest, or even on legs of adolescent people throughout this world irrespective of race or color. Not only youngsters, this skin disease could become a nightmare even at your adult stages. For years numerous scientists all over the world are pursuing their consistent endeavor to find out the core reason behind this.

Recent developments in the arena of research to spot culprit acne genes have shown some remarkable improvements in this effort.

General Cause of Acne

It is already known that under the influence of male hormones or androgens the hyperactive sebaceous glands lying beneath the epidermal layer of our skin ooze out surplus sebum or body oil through the hair follicles.

This excess sebum commingled with piles of dead skin cells and skin-dwelling Propionibacterium acnes bacteria clog up the pilosebaceous unit leading to swollen pores in the form of pimples, zits, blackheads, whiteheads, and eventual transformation into nodules, pustules, papules, cysts, lumps, and other unsightly acne lesions and scars.

Many scientists, looking for the answer of this problem, thought it could be quite obvious that the genetic configuration of our skin lesions as well as of P. acnes bacteria are the most important factors playing behind the scene.

What are Acne Genes?

Recently latest medical findings in the field of acne have bestowed with some new discoveries which undoubtedly entail the implication of acne gene as the most probable answer of what most of the acne sufferers are looking for.

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In 2004 German scientists from Georg-August University cracked the genetic code of P. acnes bacterium, which is known to be responsible for this skin disease. These genes are mainly liable in sending signals to attack and devastate the human tissue and other components.

The German team has successfully identified 2,333 acne genes by mapping the entire genome of P. acnes bacteria. It is quite surprising that a huge number of genes present in this bacterium are involved in the creation of acne in human skin pores. As per the scientists these genes are blueprints for many activities which entirely bear the responsibility of triggering acne lesions.

Many of them are involved in initiating the synthesis of enzymes in P. acnes which are meant to destroy the tissue and other components of skin through acne formation. Whereas other group of acne genes is busy in causing inflammation in acne lesions. The bacterium is supposed to feed on the wreckage of our skin caused due to acne skin condition.

Gene Array Research Acne Genes

In very recent years researches have found out certain genes present in the acne lesions of the patients which might contribute to the understanding of development of acne and might help to recognize the target elements to treat this disease more efficiently. Dr. Diane M. Thiboutot and her co-researchers from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine have discovered this groundbreaking information using a modern invented technology called gene array expression profiling.

P. acnes bacteriaBy using this method it has been made possible to calculate roughly the concentration of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expressed from the acne genes in acne affected cells. They have spotted 211 genes from the cells of acne lesions which have shown to express mRNAs in enhanced concentration, whereas same mRNAs were found in much lesser amount in the unaffected cells of the same patients. Many of these genes were detected to be involved in causing inflammation and matrix remodeling in the subject’s body.

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To facilitate an extensive study, the team has chosen 5 genes out of them considering their high concentration in their expression in acne affected cells as well as strong involvement in the biological process of inflammation. By performing quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technique they successfully calculated the number of copies of mRNA in the sample collected from patient’s acne infected cells as well as uninfected cells. All the results obtained from these experiments firmly establish that these acne genes are expressed in a higher degree in the acne comedones than in the normal skin areas.

The researchers again picked up 3 genes from among those 5 to carry out immunohistochemistry technique, which showed that these genes were expressed at an augmented level in the protein constituents of inflamed acne lesions. However, one gene from these three – matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1)—has shown higher level of expression in one unaffected skin area of the subject.

This apparently normal skin sample actually found to be a microscopic acne lesion which is nothing but the early indication of the future growth of clinical acne blemishes.

New Dimension in Acne Treatment Process

Latest revolutionary findings in quest of acne genes would certainly bring about exciting developments in the treatment methodology for future acne sufferers. These breakthroughs would immensely help the dermatologists and other researchers to find out the molecular cause of acne and subsequent treatment. Undoubtedly this would be much more effective, specific, and faster than any other present day techniques.

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