IKKα enhances human keratinocyte differentiation and determines the histological variant of epidermal squamous cell carcinomas

Department of Epithelial Biology, CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain.
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) (Impact Factor: 5.01). 08/2008; 7(13):2021-9. DOI: 10.4161/cc.7.13.6147
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) of the skin display different clinical features according to their epithelial differentiation grade and histological variant. Understanding the causes of these divergences might increase the curability of SCCs. Therefore, it is important to study the mechanisms of differentiation in keratinocytes. IKK (IkappaB kinase) alpha is an important protein for epidermal morphogenesis, although the pathways through which it exerts its function are unknown and controversy exists about its role in cancer development. We show that enhanced IKKalpha expression increases both early and terminal differentiation of human keratinocytes through an E-cadherin-dependent mechanism. Increased expression of IKKalpha in mouse tumorigenic epidermal cells leads to changes in the differentiation pattern of the resulting SCCs, originating a distinct histological variant that resembles the human acantholytic SCC (ASCC) variant. Although human ASCCs have an aggressive clinical course and high risk of metastasis, nothing is known about their etiology. We show that human ASCCs, as observed in the counterpart IKKalpha murine tumors, express high levels of both IKKalpha and E-cadherin, with absence of keratins K1 and K10, usually co-expressed with IKKalpha and E-cadherin. The tight correlation between the properties of both murine and human ASCC variants strongly suggests that IKKalpha is responsible for the development of this human SCC variant.


Available from: Ana María Bravo del Moral, May 20, 2015
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