Research ArticleACNE VULGARIS

Human sebum requires de novo lipogenesis, which is increased in acne vulgaris and suppressed by acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibition

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Science Translational Medicine  15 May 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 492, eaau8465
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau8465

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Getting the skinny on sebum

Sebum, an oily material secreted by glands in the skin, has a physiological role, but abnormally high secretion of sebum can be associated with acne. Through a detailed investigation of sebum production in human skin samples and volunteer individuals, Esler et al. determined that most of the sebum in human skin is generated through de novo lipogenesis rather than recycled from circulating lipids. With this knowledge, the authors designed an inhibitor of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, a key enzyme in de novo lipogenesis, and tested it in cells, in rats, and in humans. This compound was well tolerated and successfully suppressed sebum production in human individuals.