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Development. 2003 Jun;130(11):2341-53.

Abnormal epidermal differentiation and impaired epithelial-mesenchymal tissue interactions in mice lacking the retinoblastoma relatives p107 and p130.

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Program on Cell and Molecular Biology and Gene Therapy. CIEMAT, Avenue Complutense 22, E28040 Madrid, Spain.


The functions of p107 and p130, members of the retinoblastoma family, include the control of cell cycle progression and differentiation in several tissues. Our previous studies suggested a role for p107 and p130 in keratinocyte differentiation in vitro. We now extend these data using knockout animal models. We found impaired terminal differentiation in the interfollicular keratinocytes of p107/p130-double-null mice epidermis. In addition, we observed a decreased number of hair follicles and a clear developmental delay in hair, whiskers and tooth germs. Skin grafts of p107/p130-deficient epidermis onto NOD/scid mice showed altered differentiation and hyperproliferation of the interfollicular keratinocytes, thus demonstrating that the absence of p107 and p130 results in the deficient control of differentiation in keratinocytes in a cell-autonomous manner. Besides normal hair formation, follicular cysts, misoriented and dysplastic follicles, together with aberrant hair cycling, were also observed in the p107/p130 skin transplants. Finally, the hair abnormalities in p107/p130-null skin were associated with altered Bmp4-dependent signaling including decreased DeltaNp63 expression. These results indicate an essential role for p107 and p130 in the epithelial-mesenchimal interactions.

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