Research Highlight

Gene armour against psoriasis

doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.1 Published online 27 January 2010

Contributing author Deepak Kaul.

Researchers have confirmed, for the first time, that lower expression of a particular gene is linked to the inflammatory skin disorder psoriasis. They have shown that cells from psoriatic skin show lower expression of 'LXR-α' gene as compared to cells derived from symptom-less skin of psoriatic patients or clinically healthy subjects.

Psoriasis is recognized widely as an inherited inflammatory skin disorder that affects the life cycle of skin cells leading to the formation of thick silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches. It could be disabling, especially when associated with arthritis.

Human cells express the master-regulatory gene 'Liver-X-receptor-Alpha (LXR-α)' responsible for the regulation of genes involved in innate immunity and inflammation. The researchers tried to explore the nature of this gene and its functional activity in the cells derived from psoriatic lesions, symptom-less skin of psoriatic patients and clinically healthy subjects.

The lower expression of LXR-α led to higher turnover of keratinocytes (skin cells) as well as up-regulation of genes responsible for inflammatory response — a characteristic feature observed in psoriatic skin, says contributing author Deepak Kaul from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.

The researchers propose that restoration of LXR-α expression within skin afflicted with psoriatic lesion may help restore it back to normal symptom-less skin.


  1. Gupta, D. S. et al. Psoriasis: crucial role of LXR-α RNomics. Genes Immun. 11, 37-44 (2010)  | Article | PubMed |