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Cell Death Differ. 1996 Oct;3(4):373-83.

Epidermal keratinocytes - genes and their regulation.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland.


In recent years, the human epidermal keratinocyte has been extensively studied. These studies have shown that epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta), retinoids, phorbol ester, vitamin D and other agents regulate keratinocyte proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and gene expression. We review progress in understanding the mechanisms that regulate keratinocyte structural gene expression. In most cases little is known regarding the factors that regulate gene expression in response to a physiological agent. However, the available results suggest a role for a variety of transcription factors, including STAT factors, NFkappaB, octamer site (OCT) binding proteins and activator protein 1 (AP1) factors in regulating expression of these genes. Among these transcriptional regulators, AP1 appears to play a central role. We review the current literature regarding the regulation of involucrin, loricin, transglutaminase type 1 and cytokeratin gene expression. This survey indicates that the AP1 family of transcriptional regulators is implicated in the regulation of nearly all of these genes. We also discuss recent studies which describe the distribution of the AP1 factors, c-jun, junB, junD, Fra-1,Fra-2, c-fos and fosB, in epidermis.

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