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J Cell Biol. 2003 Nov 24;163(4):901-10.

Loss of proteolytically processed filaggrin caused by epidermal deletion of Matriptase/MT-SP1.

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Proteases and Tissue Remodeling Unit, Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Profilaggrin is a large epidermal polyprotein that is proteolytically processed during keratinocyte differentiation to release multiple filaggrin monomer units as well as a calcium-binding regulatory NH2-terminal filaggrin S-100 protein. We show that epidermal deficiency of the transmembrane serine protease Matriptase/MT-SP1 perturbs lipid matrix formation, cornified envelope morphogenesis, and stratum corneum desquamation. Surprisingly, proteomic analysis of Matriptase/MT-SP1-deficient epidermis revealed the selective loss of both proteolytically processed filaggrin monomer units and the NH2-terminal filaggrin S-100 regulatory protein. This was associated with a profound accumulation of profilaggrin and aberrant profilaggrin-processing products in the stratum corneum. The data identify keratinocyte Matriptase/MT-SP1 as an essential component of the profilaggrin-processing pathway and a key regulator of terminal epidermal differentiation.

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