Dermal Fibroblast Expression of LEF1 Is Critical to Normal Skin and Hair Development and Regenerative Wound Healing in Mice

    Sean Thompson, Q.M. Phan, G. Fine, I. Busch, Y. Du, S. Winuthayanon, I. Driskell, R. Driskell
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    TLDR Lef1 is essential for normal skin, hair growth, and healing wounds in mice.
    The study investigates the role of the transcription factor Lef1 in fibroblasts, which are critical to skin and hair development and wound healing. The researchers used a single-cell multi-omics approach to understand how the loss of Lef1 alters the epigenetic landscape and gene expression in papillary fibroblasts, which are the only fibroblasts supportive of hair follicle regeneration. The study found that Lef1 controls key genes and pathways essential to normal skin and hair development and wound healing. Histological assessments of young and aging wild-type and Lef1 KO tissue confirmed the importance of Lef1 to skin and hair’s structural development and aging. Additionally, wound healing assays identified the importance of embryonic and neonatal Lef1 expression in priming the papillary lineage to contribute positively to wound healing outcomes in neonatal and aging skin.
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