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Differentiation. 2004 Oct;72(8):396-409.

Activation of Notch1 in the hair follicle leads to cell-fate switch and Mohawk alopecia.

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Department of Dermatology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


The Notch signaling pathway has been shown to control cell-fate decisions during mouse development. To study the role of Notch1 in epidermal differentiation and the development of the various cell types within the mouse hair follicle, we generated transgenic mice that express a constitutive activated form of Notch1 under the control of the involucrin promoter. Transgenic animals express the transgene in the suprabasal epidermal keratinocytes and inner root sheath of the hair follicle, and develop both skin and hair abnormalities. Notch1 overexpression leads to an increase of the differentiated cell compartment in the epidermis, delays inner root sheath differentiation, and leads to hair shaft abnormalities and alopecia associated with the anagen phase of the hair cycle.

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