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Genes Dev. 2017 Apr 15;31(8):744-756. doi: 10.1101/gad.298703.117. Epub 2017 May 2.

Identification of hair shaft progenitors that create a niche for hair pigmentation.

Liao CP1, Booker RC1, Morrison SJ2,3,4,5,6, Le LQ1,4,5.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology.
2
Department of Pediatrics.
3
Children's Research Institute.
4
Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.
5
Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine.
6
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390, USA.

Abstract

Hair differentiates from follicle stem cells through progenitor cells in the matrix. In contrast to stem cells in the bulge, the identities of the progenitors and the mechanisms by which they regulate hair shaft components are poorly understood. Hair is also pigmented by melanocytes in the follicle. However, the niche that regulates follicular melanocytes is not well characterized. Here, we report the identification of hair shaft progenitors in the matrix that are differentiated from follicular epithelial cells expressing transcription factor KROX20. Depletion of Krox20 lineage cells results in arrest of hair growth, confirming the critical role of KROX20+ cells as antecedents of structural cells found in hair. Expression of stem cell factor (SCF) by these cells is necessary for the maintenance of differentiated melanocytes and for hair pigmentation. Our findings reveal the identities of hair matrix progenitors that regulate hair growth and pigmentation, partly by creating an SCF-dependent niche for follicular melanocytes.

KEYWORDS:

KROX20; hair follicle stem cell; hair matrix; hair pigmentation; hair shaft progenitor cell; stem cell factor (SCF)

PMID:
28465357
PMCID:
PMC5435888
DOI:
10.1101/gad.298703.117
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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