Hair care

March 21, 2012

The Column

The Column, The Column-03-21-2012, Volume 8, Issue 5
Pages: 8

A group of scientists in France have undertaken a study to examine the structure of proteins in human hair.

A group of scientists in France have undertaken a study to examine the structure of proteins in human hair.1

Hair is subjected to a variety of treatments during its growth and these can cause irreversible damage. Studying the structure of hair proteins can be challenging due to their physiochemical properties so the team used two complementary approaches to solve this issue.

The multidimensional protein identification technology (MudPit) approach allowed the team to identify eight of the nine type I keratins and five of the six type II keratins, as well as the major KAPs. Posttranslational modifications in keratins, including cysteine trioxidation, lysine and histidine methylation, were also identified.

Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with MS was able to provide a complete 2D gel pattern of human hair proteins. Cleaved species in hair keratins were found. Where these broken proteins have come from is not clear but the results indicate a preferential breaking zone in α−helical segments. These fragmented proteins were also only observable following gel separation, which highlights the importance of the two complementary proteomics approaches.

1. N. Cavusoglu et al., Analytical Biochemisty, 421, 43–55 (2012).

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