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Genomics. 2000 Dec 1;70(2):264-8.

Gene characterization of sciellin (SCEL) and protein localization in vertebrate epithelia displaying barrier properties.

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Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 02129 USA.


Sciellin is a precursor of the cornified envelope of mammalian stratified epithelia characterized by a central core of nonidentical repeats. We characterized the genomic structure of human sciellin and showed that each homologous repeat was encoded by one exon. We also characterized mouse sciellin and showed that mouse sciellin and human sciellin (HGMW-approved symbol SCEL) share a similar gene organization and protein expression pattern. This one exon/one repeat organization is unique among other cornified envelope precursors characterized by homologous repeats. We identified an alternatively spliced isoform of human sciellin, absent in mouse, characterized by an additional repeat at the beginning of the core domain. During embryonic development, the accumulation of sciellin transcript and the accumulation of sciellin protein in the epidermis correlated with the activation of markers of terminal differentiation in epidermis. Mouse sciellin was also identified in simple epithelia with barrier properties, lending further support to its importance in epithelial function.

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