Keratin gene mutations in disorders of human skin and its appendages.

Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA.
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics (Impact Factor: 3.04). 12/2010; 508(2):123-37. DOI: 10.1016/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Keratins, the major structural protein of all epithelia are a diverse group of cytoskeletal scaffolding proteins that form intermediate filament networks, providing structural support to keratinocytes that maintain the integrity of the skin. Expression of keratin genes is usually regulated by differentiation of the epidermal cells within the stratifying squamous epithelium. Amongst the 54 known functional keratin genes in humans, about 22 different genes including, the cornea, hair and hair follicle-specific keratins have been implicated in a wide range of hereditary diseases. The exact phenotype of each disease usually reflects the spatial expression level and the types of mutated keratin genes, the location of the mutations and their consequences at sub-cellular levels as well as other epigenetic and/or environmental factors. The identification of specific pathogenic mutations in keratin disorders formed the basis of our understanding that led to re-classification, improved diagnosis with prognostic implications, prenatal testing and genetic counseling in severe keratin genodermatoses. Molecular defects in cutaneous keratin genes encoding for keratin intermediate filaments (KIFs) causes keratinocytes and tissue-specific fragility, accounting for a large number of genetic disorders in human skin and its appendages. These diseases are characterized by keratinocytes fragility (cytolysis), intra-epidermal blistering, hyperkeratosis, and keratin filament aggregation in severely affected tissues. Examples include epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS; K5, K14), keratinopathic ichthyosis (KPI; K1, K2, K10) i.e. epidermolytic ichthyosis (EI; K1, K10) and ichthyosis bullosa of Siemens (IBS; K2), pachyonychia congenita (PC; K6a, K6b, K16, K17), epidermolytic palmo-plantar keratoderma (EPPK; K9, (K1)), monilethrix (K81, K83, K86), ectodermal dysplasia (ED; K85) and steatocystoma multiplex. These keratins also have been identified to have roles in apoptosis, cell proliferation, wound healing, tissue polarity and remodeling. This review summarizes and discusses the clinical, ultrastructural, molecular genetics and biochemical characteristics of a broad spectrum of keratin-related genodermatoses, with special clinical emphasis on EBS, EI and PC. We also highlight current and emerging model tools for prognostic future therapies. Hopefully, disease modeling and in-depth understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of the diseases may lead to the development of novel therapies for several hereditary cutaneous diseases.

Download full-text


Available from: Jean Christopher Chamcheu, Jun 23, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cells of the epidermis renew constantly from germinal layer stem cells. Although epithelial cell differentiation has been studied in great detail and the role of Wnt signaling in this process is well described, the contribution of epidermal Wnt secretion in epithelial cell homeostasis remains poorly understood. To analyze the role of Wnt proteins in this process, we created a conditional knockout allele of the Wnt cargo receptor Evi/Gpr177/Wntless and studied mice that lacked Evi expression in the epidermis. We found that K14-Cre, Evi-LOF mice lost their hair during the first hair cycle, showing a reddish skin with impaired skin barrier function. Expression profiling of mutant and wild-type skin revealed up-regulation of inflammation-associated genes. Furthermore, we found that Evi expression in psoriatic skin biopsies is down-regulated, suggesting that Evi-deficient mice developed skin lesions that resemble human psoriasis. Immune cell infiltration was detected in Evi-LOF skin. Interestingly, an age-dependent depletion of dendritic epidermal T cells (DETCs) and an infiltration of γδ(low) T cells in Evi mutant epidermis was observed. Collectively, the described inflammatory skin phenotype in Evi-deficient mice revealed an essential role of Wnt secretion in maintaining normal skin homeostasis by enabling a balanced epidermal-dermal cross talk, which affects immune cell recruitment and DETC survival.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 08/2013; 210(9). DOI:10.1084/jem.20121871 · 13.91 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Significant developments in the use of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors (mTORIs) as immunosuppressant and antiproliferative agents have been made. Recent advances in the understanding of the mTOR signaling pathway and its downstream effects on tumorigenesis and vascular proliferation have broadened the clinical applications of mTORIs in many challenging disorders such as tuberous sclerosis complex, pachyonychia congenita, complex vascular anomalies, and inflammatory dermatoses. Systemic mTORI therapy has shown benefits in these areas, but is associated with significant side effects that sometimes necessitate drug holidays. To mitigate the side effects of systemic mTORIs for dermatologic applications, preliminary work to assess the potential of percutaneous therapy has been performed, and the evidence suggests that percutaneous delivery of mTORIs may allow for effective long-term therapy while avoiding systemic toxicities. Additional large placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized studies are needed to assess the efficacy, safety, duration, and tolerability of topical treatments. The objective of this review is to provide updated information on the novel use of mTORIs in the management of many cutaneous disorders. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 03/2015; 57(5). DOI:10.1016/j.jaad.2015.01.014 · 5.00 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Keratins are scaffolding proteins that combine to form a network of intermediate filaments in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells. They are especially important for the skin, as keratins comprise up to 85% of the cell mass of terminally differentiated keratinocytes [1]. The main function of keratins is to provide structural maintenance for the cells and tissues, but recently it has been revealed that keratins have many more functional roles, including modulation of apoptosis, cell growth, hair cycling, tissue polarity, wound repair, and tissue remodeling [2]. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Experimental Dermatology 02/2015; 24(6). DOI:10.1111/exd.12654 · 4.12 Impact Factor