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Keratin 37 is a
protein Proteins are large biomolecule , showing alpha helices, represented by ribbons. This poten was the first to have its suckture solved by X-ray crystallography by Max Perutz and Sir John Cowdery Kendrew in 1958, for which they received a No ...

protein
that in humans is encoded by the KRT37
gene In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mecha ...

gene
. KRT37 is a member of the
keratin Keratin () is one of a family of structural fibrous proteins also known as ''scleroproteins''. Alpha-keratin Alpha-keratin, or α-keratin, is a type of keratin Keratin () is one of a family of fibrous structural proteins known as Scleroprot ...

keratin
gene family.


Clinical significance

KRT37 is the only keratin that is regulated by
androgen An androgen (from Greek ''andr-'', the stem of the word meaning "man") is any natural or synthetic steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid , hypothetical a steroid with 32 carbon atoms. Its core ring system (ABCD), composed of 17 c ...
s. This sensitivity to androgens was acquired by
Homo sapiens Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedality, bipedalism and large, complex brains. This has enabled the development of advanced tools, culture, and language. Humans are highl ...

Homo sapiens
and is not shared with their great ape cousins. Although Winter et al. found that KRT37 is expressed in all the hair follices of chimpanzees, it was not detected in the head hair of modern humans. As androgens are known to grow hair on the body but decrease it on the scalp, this lack of scalp KRT37 may help explain the paradoxical nature of
Androgenic alopecia Pattern hair loss is hair loss Hair loss, also known as alopecia or baldness, refers to a loss of hair Hair is a protein filament In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including th ...
as well as the fact that head hair anagen cycles are extremely long. Moreover, variations in the gene may account for ethnic differences in body and facial hair.


References

{{Cytoskeletal proteins