We all have an itch to scratch.
And while we’ve all had that itch, the itch you have may be more difficult to scratch than we might have thought.
In fact, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say they’ve discovered a biological explanation for why some itch.
In a new study, they suggest that an enzyme called keratinocyte-associated protein 2 (KAP2) can be responsible for causing the itch.
“It has been known for a long time that skin irritations can occur with inflammation,” says Andrew S. J. Gennaro, a PhD candidate in psychology at the University and lead author of the study, which was published this month in the journal Science.
“But it wasn’t clear why it happens.
Now we know that keratinocytes in our skin are responsible for generating these inflammatory responses.””
It’s an interesting study,” says co-author Christopher S. Krumm, a professor of psychology at Illinois.
“Keratinocytes are part of the immune system and are associated with the production of the proteins that trigger inflammation.
They’re involved in a lot of inflammatory processes.”
Keratins are the basic building blocks of all cell membranes, and they’re found on virtually every tissue in the body, including our skin.
These proteins are part, in part, of the cellular membrane that carries the electrical signals that control the function of cells, such as those in the heart and the brain.
“When a cell receives an electrical signal, the proteins in the cell will change to make a signal that tells the cells to make proteins to carry out the signal,” says Jana Lipschultz, a senior scientist in the Department of Psychology at Illinois and a co-lead author of both the study and the study’s lead author, Christopher S., a PhD student in psychology.
“In other words, the signals that we get when we itch are going to cause an inflammatory response in the cells of the skin.”
The study found that keratins were involved in the inflammatory response caused by the scratch, and that when keratin proteins were activated in the skin, they activated keratin cells, causing the skin to produce keratin and to become irritated.
The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, also showed that kerinocytes in the dermis of mice had the ability to produce more keratin after a skin lesion.
This is the mechanism that causes itch in humans, but it’s not known if it also occurs in animals.
“Kerinocytes are actually responsible for producing keratin in the hair follicles,” Gennarro says.
“So if you scratch your skin, and you scratch the hair of a mouse, the hair will become more keratotic.
The reason that we think that keratonocytes in skin are involved is because they produce keratosis, and the skin is a keratin-producing organ.
So we think it’s possible that this mechanism may be responsible.”
To test the hypothesis that keronocytes are responsible, the researchers tested mice with keratin lesions and found that they showed similar inflammatory responses to the scratch.
“We found that in mice with lesions of keratin, we found that the skin became more irritated, more inflamed, and more inflammatory,” says Krumma.
“And we saw that when the mouse with the keratinomas scratched its skin, the skin got irritated and it was more sensitive to the scratching.
So it’s very important that this research goes forward.””
We can identify the keratocytes in a mouse and test the mechanisms by which they produce the inflammatory responses,” Gannaro adds.
“The next step is to identify the proteins and how they activate the keratica.”
As part of their research, the team also examined the production and distribution of keratatin proteins in skin.
They found that a protein called keratin protein II (KPII) was the first protein to activate keratin keratin cell signaling, which is one of the key steps that lead to inflammatory responses.
“That suggests that keraticin protein IV is involved in triggering keratin response,” says Gennaco.
Keraticin is a protein that is part of a family of proteins called kerinolytic receptors.
They are found on skin and other cells in the inner layer of the dermal papilla, and their role in signaling is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the outer layer of skin.
“There’s a lot more research to be done to understand why some of the different keratin species in our bodies are involved in inflammatory processes,” Krumms adds.
“In general, the immune response to infection is a process of trying to protect the body from infection, and keratin is one such protein that we see on the surface of the cells,” says S. G. Krol, an assistant professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and co-senior author of J