Pathologic changes of skin and hair in ankyloblepharon-ectodermal defects-cleft lip/palate (AEC) syndrome

Department of Pathology, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, 6621 Fannin, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A (Impact Factor: 2.05). 09/2009; 149A(9):1935-41. DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.a.32826
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ankyloblepharon-Ectodermal defects-Cleft lip/palate (AEC) syndrome is a rare disorder of hair, skin, nails, and dentition caused by mutations in the p63 gene. Pathologic changes of skin and hair in AEC syndrome have previously been described in isolated case reports. Biopsies of normal and lesional skin from 19 patients with AEC syndrome were examined by light microscopy. Hair samples from 18 patients were examined by light and scanning electron microscopy. Histopathologic changes identified within the skin biopsies from clinically unaffected skin include mild atrophy, focal orthokeratosis, and mild superficial perivascular lymphocytic dermatitis. Scattered melanophages in the superficial and deep dermis likely reflect post-inflammatory change. One patient with a unilateral eruption of monomorphic papulopustules on the chest and shoulder demonstrated an acneiform intraepidermal pustule. Examination of the hair shafts revealed atrophy and loss of melanin pigment in some of the patients. Structural abnormalities included pili torti, pili trianguli et canaliculi, and irregular indentation and shallow grooves. Skin and hair findings in AEC syndrome were found to be generally similar to those described in other ectodermal dysplasia syndromes and corroborates the few prior descriptions in AEC syndrome specifically.

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Available from: John Hicks, Sep 30, 2014
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    • "Cleft palate was not rescued by crossing chimeras with females of different inbred strains ( see Supporting information ) suggesting that this defect was independent of the genetic background . Ankyloblepharon - ectodermal defects - cleft lip / palate patients are characterized by mild atrophy of the skin , skin erosions and sparse or absent hair ( Dishop et al , 2009 ; McGrath et al , 2001 ) . p63 þ / L514F mice displayed reduced skin folding and a translucent appearance of the skin at birth ( Supporting Information Fig S3A ) . "
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    ABSTRACT: Ankyloblepharon-ectodermal defects-cleft lip/palate (AEC) syndrome, which is characterized by cleft palate and severe defects of the skin, is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding transcription factor p63. Here, we report the generation of a knock-in mouse model for AEC syndrome (p63(+/L514F) ) that recapitulates the human disorder. The AEC mutation exerts a selective dominant-negative function on wild-type p63 by affecting progenitor cell expansion during ectodermal development leading to a defective epidermal stem cell compartment. These phenotypes are associated with impairment of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling resulting from reduced expression of Fgfr2 and Fgfr3, direct p63 target genes. In parallel, a defective stem cell compartment is observed in humans affected by AEC syndrome and in Fgfr2b(-/-) mice. Restoring Fgfr2b expression in p63(+/L514F) epithelial cells by treatment with FGF7 reactivates downstream mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling and cell proliferation. These findings establish a functional link between FGF signalling and p63 in the expansion of epithelial progenitor cells and provide mechanistic insights into the pathogenesis of AEC syndrome.
    EMBO Molecular Medicine 03/2012; 4(3):192-205. DOI:10.1002/emmm.201100199 · 8.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ankyloblepharon-ectodermal defects-cleft lip/palate (AEC) syndrome (Hay-Wells syndrome, MIM #106220) is a rare autosomal dominant ectodermal dysplasia syndrome. It is due to mutations in the TP63 gene, known to be a regulatory gene with many downstream gene targets. TP63 is important in the differentiation and proliferation of the epidermis, as well as many other processes including limb and facial development. It is also known that mutations in TP63 lead to skin erosions. These erosions, especially on the scalp, are defining features of AEC syndrome and cause significant morbidity and mortality in these patients. It was this fact that led to the 2003 AEC Skin Erosion Workshop. That conference laid the groundwork for the International Research Symposium for AEC Syndrome held at Texas Children's Hospital in 2006. The conference brought together the largest cohort of individuals with AEC syndrome, along with a multitude of physicians and scientists. The overarching goals were to define the clinical and pathologic findings for improved diagnostic criteria, to obtain tissue samples for further study and to define future research directions. The symposium was successful in accomplishing these aims as detailed in this conference report. Following our report, we also present 11 manuscripts within this special section that outline the collective clinical, pathologic, and mutational data from 18 individuals enrolled in the concurrent Baylor College of Medicine IRB-approved protocol: Characterization of AEC syndrome. These collaborative findings will hopefully provide a stepping-stone to future translational projects of TP63 and TP63-related syndromes.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 09/2009; 149A(9):1885-93. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.32761 · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dominant mutations in TP63 cause ankyloblepharon ectodermal dysplasia and clefting (AEC), an ectodermal dysplasia characterized by skin fragility. Since DeltaNp63alpha is the predominantly expressed TP63 isoform in postnatal skin, we hypothesized that mutant DeltaNp63alpha proteins are primarily responsible for skin fragility in AEC patients. We found that mutant DeltaNp63alpha proteins expressed in AEC patients function as dominant-negative molecules, suggesting that the human AEC skin phenotype could be mimicked in mouse skin by downregulating DeltaNp63alpha. Indeed, downregulating DeltaNp63 expression in mouse epidermis caused severe skin erosions, which resembled lesions that develop in AEC patients. In both cases, lesions were characterized by suprabasal epidermal proliferation, delayed terminal differentiation, and basement membrane abnormalities. By failing to provide structural stability to the epidermis, these defects likely contribute to the observed skin fragility. The development of a mouse model for AEC will allow us to further unravel the genetic pathways that are normally regulated by DeltaNp63 and that may be perturbed in AEC patients. Ultimately, these studies will not only contribute to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that cause skin fragility in AEC patients, but may also result in the identification of targets for novel therapeutic approaches aimed at treating skin erosions. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 09/2009; 149A(9):1942-7. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.32794 · 2.05 Impact Factor
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