A group of South Korean scientists from Yonsei University has made a breakthrough in the treatment of hair loss. Previous treatments that control the speed of hair growth have had limited effects on hair loss that has already progressed and caused side effects due to the suppression of male hormones. Hence, there was an evident need for a new approach to treating hair loss.
The research team led by Professor Kang-yeol Choi shed light on a protein called CXXC5, which regulates Wnt signaling and prevents important processes like follicle development or hair regeneration. The research revealed that CXXC5 combines with the protein Dishevelled, which suppresses the Wnt signalling pathway. To counter this process, the team developed a biochemical material called PTD-DBM, which helps to disrupt the interaction between CXXC5 and Dishevelled proteins. The new treatment not only promotes hair regeneration, but also instigates new follicle growth. Professor Choi commented, “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 regenerating damaged skin tissue.”