Filaggrin repeat number polymorphism is associated with a dry skin phenotype

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Profilaggrin is a key epidermal protein, critical for the generation and maintenance of the stratum corneum barrier. It is encoded by a gene located in the epidermal differentiation complex of Chromosome 1q21 and is composed of multiple filaggrin repeats connected by highly conserved linker peptides. Within the human population the number of filaggrin repeats encoded by this gene varies between 10, 11 or 12 repeats. Using a PCR-based approach we have determined individual profilaggrin allelotypes in a group of 113 subjects and identified preliminary evidence of an inverse association between the 12 repeat allele and self-perceived frequent dry skin (P=0.0293). This is the first demonstration of a potential association between a genetic marker and cosmetic skin condition and suggests that cosmetic skin dryness may in part be genetically determined and associated with specific profilaggrin allelotypes.

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