The new field of “skinomics” refers to the use of systems biology and “omics” approaches in the studies of the skin and dermatology. For example, high-through put (HTP) methods such as microarrays have been applied to identify biomarkers including transcriptional alterations and susceptibility loci for skin disorders such as melanoma and psoriasis (Blumenberg 2013).

Such approaches may eventually be helpful for finding more effective therapeutics. Specifically, the analyses of skin biopsies from hundreds of samples have discovered the transcriptional alterations in psoriasis (Blumenberg 2013).

Because of their roles in the responses to UV light, infectious agents, inflammation, cytokines, and toxins, epidermal keratinocytes have been paid much attention in such analyses (Blumenberg 2013). In addition, many of the genes involved in the epidermal differentiation and expressed in the epidermal stem cells have been identified.

References:

Blumenberg M. Skinomics: past, present and future for diagnostic microarray studies in dermatology. Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2013 Nov;13(8):885-94. doi: 10.1586/14737159.2013.846827.

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