Research uncovers potential of sulforaphane as therapy for epidermolysis bullosa simplex

January 3, 2008

Washington - Sulforaphane, a natural compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may be effective in helping treat epidermolysis bullosa simplex, according to research presented during the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, held here recently and reported on by Reuters Health.

Washington - Sulforaphane, a natural compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may be effective in helping treat epidermolysis bullosa simplex, according to research presented during the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, held here recently and reported on by Reuters Health.

Most cases of epidermolysis bullosa simplex are due to mutations in the genes encoding the proteins keratin 5 (K5) or keratin 14 (K14), proteins that normally form skins cells. Using topical sulforaphane to treat epidermolysis bullosa simplex takes advantage of a functional redundancy within the keratin gene family.

According to a researcher interviewed by Reuters Health, “We can achieve a significant degree of amelioration of skin blistering in a mouse model of epidermolysis bullosa simplex by treating with sulforaphane that is able to turn on two keratin genes, whose sequence and properties are very related to one of the two keratin genes that is defective in epidermolysis bullosa simplex.”

Sulforaphane treatment results in the production of skin cells that relieve the blistering caused by a K14 deficiency in the mouse model of epidermolysis bullosa simplex.

The researcher says that sulforaphane and similar drugs “represent promising options for the prevention of skin blistering associated with K14 mutations in epidermolysis bullosa simplex” and that with more research, the compound could become a major treatment components for human patients afflicted with the condition.