Keratins and skin disorders

Cancer Research UK Cell Structure Research Group, Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Dundee School of Life Sciences, MSI/WTB Complex, Dow Street, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK.
The Journal of Pathology (Impact Factor: 7.33). 11/2004; 204(4):355-66. DOI: 10.1002/path.1643
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The association of keratin mutations with genetic skin fragility disorders is now one of the best-established examples of cytoskeleton disorders. It has served as a paradigm for many other diseases and has been highly informative for the study of intermediate filaments and their associated components, in helping to understand the functions of this large family of structural proteins. The keratin diseases have shown unequivocally that, at least in the case of the epidermal keratins, a major function of intermediate filaments is to provide physical resilience for epithelial cells. This review article reflects on the variety of phenotypes arising from mutations in keratins and the reasons for this variation.

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    ABSTRACT: Generalized peeling skin syndrome (PSS) is an autosomal recessive genodermatosis characterized by lifelong, continuous shedding of the upper epidermis. Using whole-genome homozygozity mapping and whole-exome sequencing, we identified a novel homozygous missense mutation (c.229C>T, R77W) within the CHST8 gene, in a large consanguineous family with non-inflammatory PSS type A. CHST8 encodes a Golgi transmembrane N-acetylgalactosamine-4-O-sulfotransferase (GalNAc4-ST1), which we show by immunofluorescence staining to be expressed throughout normal epidermis. A colorimetric assay for total sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) quantification, comparing human keratinocytes (CCD1106 KERTr) expressing wild type and mutant recombinant GalNAc4-ST1, revealed decreased levels of total sulfated GAGs in cells expressing mutant GalNAc4-ST1, suggesting loss of function. Western blotting revealed lower expression levels of mutant recombinant GalNAc4-ST1 compared to wild type, suggesting that accelerated degradation may result in loss of function, leading to PSS type A. This is the first report describing a mutation as the cause of PSS type A.
    Genomics 01/2012; 99(4):202-8. DOI:10.1016/j.ygeno.2012.01.005 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that results in specific gene inhibition at the mRNA level. The discovery that short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are selective, potent, and can largely avoid immune surveillance has resulted in keen interest to develop these inhibitors as therapeutics. A single nucleotide-specific siRNA (K6a_513a.12, also known as TD101) was recently evaluated in a phase 1b clinical trial for the rare skin disorder, pachyonychia congenita (PC). To develop a clinical trial molecular end point for this type of trial, methods were developed to: (1) isolate total RNA containing amplifiable mRNA from human skin and callus material; (2) quantitatively distinguish the single-nucleotide mutant mRNA from wild-type K6a mRNA in both patient-derived keratinocytes and patient callus; and (3) demonstrate that repeated siRNA treatment results in sustained inhibition of mutant K6a mRNA in patient-derived keratinocyte cultures. These methods allow noninvasive sampling and monitoring of gene expression from patient-collected shavings and may be useful in evaluating the effectiveness of RNAi-based therapeutics, including inhibitors that specifically target single-nucleotide mutations.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 12/2010; 131(5):1029-36. DOI:10.1038/jid.2010.372 · 6.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular characterization and assessment of therapeutic outcomes for inherited cutaneous disorders requires faithful preclinical models. In this study we report the establishment of two different skin-humanized pachyonychia congenita (PC) model systems, based on permanent engraftment of bioengineered skin equivalents generated from patient skin cells onto immunodeficient mice. Using keratinocytes and fibroblasts isolated from unaffected skin biopsies of two PC patients carrying the p.Asn171Lys mutation of the keratin 6a gene (KRT6A), we were able to regenerate PC-derived human skin that appeared phenotypically normal, but developed sustained PC features after the use of an acute hyperproliferative stimulus (i.e., tape stripping). In contrast, the use of keratinocytes from an affected area (i.e., plantar callus) from a different patient carrying the KRT6A mutation p.Asn171Asp led to a full recapitulation of the phenotype that included marked acanthosis and epidermal blistering after minor trauma. The ability to generate large numbers of PC skin-engrafted mice will enable the testing of novel pharmacological or gene-based therapies for this as yet untreatable disease.
    Journal of Investigative Dermatology 12/2010; 131(5):1053-60. DOI:10.1038/jid.2010.353 · 6.37 Impact Factor