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Br J Dermatol. 1992 Feb;126(2):154-60.

Keratin expression in basal cell carcinomas.

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1
Laboratory of Applied Dermatology, UMDS, London.

Abstract

The keratin phenotype of 15 cases of basal cell carcinoma was assayed immunohistochemically using a panel of monospecific antibodies to single keratin polypeptides. Whilst tumour tissue strongly expressed primary keratins 5 and 14 (normally synthesized in basal keratinocytes) no expression of secondary keratins 1 and 10 (characteristic of skin-type differentiation) was detected. Keratin 17, characteristic of the outer hair root sheath, was strongly expressed in all tumours. Keratin 19 was also normally expressed in parts of the hair follicle and was detected in four cases. The 'high cell turnover' keratin 16 was frequently induced in the overlying epidermis, but was rare within tumour tissue. No expression of simple epithelial keratins 8 and 18 was detected. Whilst the keratin phenotype of tumour cells is similar to that of basal cells within part of the hair root sheath, in keeping with suggestions of a follicular origin for basal cell carcinomas, the findings are also compatible with an origin from interfollicular pluripotent stem cells differentiating towards follicular structures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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