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Int Rev Cytol. 2006;251:209-63.

Human hair keratin-associated proteins (KAPs).

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  • 1Section of Normal and Neoplastic Epidermal Differentiation, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.


Elucidation of the genes encoding structural proteins of the human hair follicle has advanced rapidly during the last decade, complementing nearly three previous decades of research on this subject in other species. Primary among these advances was both the characterization of human hair keratins, as well as the hair keratin associated proteins (KAPs). This review describes the currently known human KAP families, their genomic organization, and their characteristics of expression. Furthermore, this report delves into further aspects, such as polymorphic variations in human KAP genes, the role that KAP proteins might play in hereditary hair diseases, as well as their modulation in several different transgenic mouse models displaying hair abnormalities.

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