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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 Feb;38(2 Pt 2):325-9.

Transglutaminase 1 expression in a patient with features of harlequin ichthyosis: case report.

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  • 1V.A. Palo Alto Health Care System, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University, California 94304, USA.


Harlequin ichthyosis (HI) is a life-threatening disorder characterized clinically by massive generalized hyperkeratosis and ultrastructurally by an absence of lamellar bodies. However, infants who survive the perinatal period develop a phenotype resembling the nonbullous ichthyosiform erythrodermic (CIE) form of autosomal recessive ichthyosis. We studied a child with a severe hyperkeratotic skin disorder present at birth that developed into a CIE-like phenotype. Electron microscopy demonstrated an absence of lamellar bodies consistent with HI. Abnormalities of filaggrin and involucrin expression by immunostaining were evident. However, transglutaminase 1 (TGase1) was expressed in the epidermis in a pattern consistent with other diseases that involve epidermal acanthosis. Analysis of patient keratinocytes grown in vitro demonstrated expression of normal amounts of TGase1 mRNA and full length TGase1 protein, as well as normal levels of transglutaminase enzymatic activity.

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