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http://f1000.com/prime/reports/m/3/2/

"Filaggrin is a highly abundant protein expressed in the uppermost part of the epidermis that is critical to the formation and hydration of the stratum corneum—the outermost dead cell layers responsible for the barrier function of the skin. Filaggrin deficiency leads to a 'leaky' skin barrier that allows higher than normal water loss (explaining the dry, scaly skin), as well as allowing entry of allergens through the epidermis where they trigger inflammatory and allergic immune responses (atopic eczema and allergies)."

Not that such a supplement exists, but is it biologically possible to treat filaggrin deficiency with something taken orally?

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THe cause of the deficiency has to be ascertained before thinking about therapy. FOr e.g it could be because of improper diet or it could be because of a mutation. –  WYSIWYG Jun 12 at 10:43

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Direct replacement of a protein through oral supplementation is extremely unlikely. Our digestive tract is designed to break down proteins into their constituent amino acids.

In the stomach pepsin breaks proteins into polypeptides which then pass into the small intestine. At this point (second part of duodenum) multiple enzymes (proteases) enter having been released from the pancreas in response to eating. These enzymes further reduced the polypeptides into smaller components such as you end up with component parts of the original protein.

These component parts are then transported across the intestine into the blood through cells lining the intestinal lumen (enterocytes). Enterocytes also have proteolytic action on long chains of amino acids.

As a result of this process, the original structure of the ingested protein is destroyed. However you do end up with the constituent amino acids. If your fillagrin or any other protein deficiency is as a result of lack of nutrients then in response your body may be able to synthesise the required protein. If on the other hand your deficiency is due to a gene defect, despite having the building blocks for the protien you will continue be deficient.

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I highly doubt it. Filaggrin is a human protein which is expressed in the skin and stored as profilaggrin. The profilaggrin has a molecular weight of about 350 kDa (which is rather big) and is cut into smaller units of filaggrin, which then crosslinks kreatin fibers of the epidermal keratinocytes. This enhances the durability of the skin. Mutations in the filaggrin gene have been associated with dry skin and excema. See here for more information:"Filaggrin - revisited."

To supplement the profilaggrin, you would have to bring this rather large protein into the skin. You could think about making a cream with the smaller filaggrin in it to promote crosslinking of the upper skin. The question here would be how effective such a treatment ist and how deep the crosslinking would be.

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