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J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2004 Sep;9(3):248-52.

A dynamic model of keratinocyte stem cell renewal and differentiation: role of the p21WAF1/Cip1 and Notch1 signaling pathways.

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Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA.


We present here a dynamic model of functional equilibrium between keratinocyte stem cells, transit amplifying populations and cells that are reversibly versus irreversibly committed to differentiation. According to this model, the size of keratinocyte stem cell populations can be controlled at multiple levels, including relative late steps in the sequence of events leading to terminal differentiation and by the influences of a heterogeneous extra-cellular environment. We discuss how work in our laboratory, on the interconnection between the cyclin/CDK inhibitor p21WAF1/Cip1 and the Notch1 signaling pathways, provides strong support to this dynamic model of stem cell versus committed and/or differentiated keratinocyte populations.

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