Full transcriptome analysis (DNA chips)
Whole transcriptome gene profiling is based on Affymetrix DNA microarrays. DNA microarrays enable to monitor the expression profiles from the whole genome, to provide deeper insights to product signatures. This technology is a key to identify and characterize a large number of genes/pathways that are either up-regulated or down-regulated in specific conditions (inflamed skin, UV challenged, etc.) and that could be modulated or reversed by the test product
« the StratiCELL Skin Knowledge Database » for data interpretation focusing on skin and cosmetic expected effects
The complexity of the biological interpretation of the results is related to the fact most biological databases and web interfaces provide general, non-specific information, so that that genes/themes analysis are rarely related to skin biology (i.e. KEGG, Reactome, Gene Ontology, RefSeq, etc.). Working with skin samples, easily identifying information relevant to skin biology, among current knowledge and available information, is a major challenge. Indeed, knowledge relevant to skin biology is often flooded in a large set of non-specific information, and/or specifically dedicated to major research fields, frequently focusing on pathologies.
This is why a new concept has recently emerged, that is a structured knowledge center in which information is specific to skin biology or dedicated to the associated dermo-cosmetic properties/benefits (« the StratiCELL Skin Knowledge Database »).
This is a relational database, that includes the classification of more than 3.500 genes and their gathering in themes/groups related to skin biology and functions. Such a gathering models the expertise acquired by StratiCELL through thousands of studies about skin. It also includes information available in the scientific literature and in general databases. Thanks to this exclusive database, the mapping is now possible between genes/groups modulated by an active compound on one hand, and cosmetic benefits that can be expected on the other hand. Such a tool is thus necessary to strengthen the relevance of the biological interpretation. The expertise of the biologist then allows to contextualize the results in terms of benefits brought by an active compound or extract. The database is jointly developed with a user-friendly interface, allowing the automation of statistical analysis and the generation of multiple summarizing tables and figures, to illustrate the results.
As an example among others, transcriptome analysis has been conducted with Affymetrix oligonucleotide arrays, to characterize putative cosmetic benefits of MacadermTM, a Lepidium meyenii Walp root extract applied in the culture medium of an in vitro reconstructed human epidermis. The analysis performed with the help of StratiCELL's database allowed to identify multiple biological pathways modulated by the extract, especially the effects on genes involved in the cornified envelope, lipid synthesis and cell junctions, thereby building a set of evidences supporting the claim of the strengthening of the epidermal barrier, as well as better firmness and cutaneous hydration.