Alopecia-neurological defects-endocrinopathy (ANE) syndrome is a rare inherited hair disorder, which was shown to result from decreased expression of the RNA-binding motif protein 28 (RBM28). In this study, we attempted to delineate the role of RBM28 in hair biology. First, we sought to obtain evidence for the direct involvement of RBM28 in hair growth. When RBM28 was downregulated in human hair follicle (HF) organ cultures, we observed catagen induction and HF growth arrest, indicating that RBM28 is necessary for normal hair growth. We also aimed at identifying molecular targets of RBM28. Given that an RBM28 homologue was recently found to regulate miRNA biogenesis in C. elegans and given the known pivotal importance of miRNAs for proper hair follicle development, we studied global miRNA expression profile in cells knocked down for RBM28. This analysis revealed that RBM28 controls the expression of miR-203. miR-203 was found to regulate in turn TP63, encoding the transcription factor p63, which is critical for hair morphogenesis. In conclusion, RBM28 contributes to HF growth regulation through modulation of miR-203 and p63 activity.
- Hair follicle