Studies on the Proteome of Human Hair - Identification of Histones and Deamidated Keratins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Human hair is laminar-fibrous tissue and an evolutionarily old keratinization product of follicle trichocytes. Studies on the hair proteome can give new insights into hair function and lead to the development of novel biomarkers for hair in health and disease. Human hair proteins were extracted by detergent and detergent-free techniques. We adopted a shotgun proteomics approach, which demonstrated a large extractability and variety of hair proteins after detergent extraction. We found an enrichment of keratin, keratin-associated proteins (KAPs), and intermediate filament proteins, which were part of protein networks associated with response to stress, innate immunity, epidermis development, and the hair cycle. Our analysis also revealed a significant deamidation of keratin type I and II, and KAPs. The hair shafts were found to contain several types of histones, which are well known to exert antimicrobial activity. Analysis of the hair proteome, particularly its composition, protein abundances, deamidated hair proteins, and modification sites, may offer a novel approach to explore potential biomarkers of hair health quality, hair diseases, and aging.


  • Sunil S. Adav
  • Roopa S. Subbaiaih
  • Swat Kim Kerk
  • Amelia Yilin Lee
  • Hui Ying Lai
  • Kee Woei Ng
  • Siu Kwan Sze
  • Artur Schmidtchen
External organisations
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Skin Research Institute of Singapore
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physiology
Original languageEnglish
Article number1599
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch