Cooling is an effective temporary remedy for itch, bringing welcome relief to itchy insect bites, nettle stings, poison ivy, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. Menthol, causing a cooling sensation, has similar itch-relieving effects. Palkar et al. demonstrate that TRPM8, a menthol- and cold-activated ion channel, is essential for cooling to relieve itch, suggesting that pharmacologic TRPM8 activation should be explored further as an antipruritic strategy.
Identifying previously unknown proteins or detecting the presence of known proteins in research samples is critical to many experiments conducted in life sciences, including dermatology. Sensitive protein detection can help elucidate new intervention targets and mechanisms of disease, such as in autoimmune blistering skin diseases, atopic eczema, or other conditions. Historically, peptides from highly purified single proteins were sequenced, with many limitations, by stepwise degradation from the N-terminus to the C-terminus with subsequent identification by UV absorbance spectroscopy of the released amino acids (i.e., Edman degradation).