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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Jun 11;318(4):803-13.

Identification and characterization of a novel component of the cornified envelope, cornifelin.

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Advanced Medical Research Laboratories, Tanabe Seiyaku Co. Ltd., 16-89 Kashima-3-chome, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka 532-8505, Japan.


Psoriasis is recognized as a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by epidermal hyperproliferation. To identify psoriasis-related genes, we compared the mRNA populations of normal and psoriatic skin. We identified one gene, designated as cornifelin, which showed increased expression in psoriatic skin. Human cornifelin contains 112 amino acids and is expressed in the uterus, cervix, and skin. In situ hybridization analysis demonstrated the presence of human cornifelin in the granular cell layer of the epidermis. To investigate the function of cornifelin, we established a transgenic mouse line overexpressing human cornifelin. Using these mice, we have shown that cornifelin is directly or indirectly cross-linked to at least two other cornified envelope proteins, loricrin and involucrin, in vivo. Overexpression of human cornifelin correlated with decreased loricrin expression and increased involucrin expression in the transgenic mouse. However, abnormality of epidermal differentiation was not observed in the transgenic mouse.

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