The role of epigenetic regulators during the hair cycle and wound healing
Epigenetic regulation during the hair cycle
Hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) are multipotent cells that have the incredible capacity to cycle through quiescence and regeneration to fuel the production of hair follicles throughout the life of an organism. At the onset of hair growth, HFSCs undergo transient activation to briefly proliferate, but quickly revert back to their quiescent state for the remaining of the hair cycle phases. This transition from activation to quiescence is dictated by several extrinsic factors. However, critical intrinsic cues that control this process is not fully uncovered. In the Ezhkova lab we are interested in uncovering how epigenetic regulators control quiescent and active states of HFSCs in order to maintain its function and promote proper hair regeneration. Identification of epigenetic regulation of HFSC fate will provide a broader understanding of how aging and external environmental stressors influence HFSC biology as abnormal HFSC regulation has implications in human conditions like alopecia areata and telogen effluvium.
Epigenetic regulation in wound healing
Stem cell behavior and cell fate decisions are critical for tissue regeneration during homeostasis and during wound repair. Especially after an injury, genome plasticity of stem cells allows them to quickly make cell fate decisions and differentiate into cellular lineages that aide in wound closure and healing. Epigenetic mechanisms allow stem cells to maintain genome plasticity, highlighting the critical role of epigenetic regulators during wound repair. In the Ezhkova lab we are focused on identifying the key epigenetic regulators that aide in epidermal wound healing and how their function in different stem cell compartments of the epidermis dictate cell fate decisions that ultimately contributes towards effective tissue regeneration.