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Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2007;23:93-113.

Mechanisms regulating epithelial stratification.

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Department of Dermatology and Charles C. Gates Program in Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO 80010, USA.


The epidermis is a stratified epithelium that functions as a barrier protecting the organism from dehydration, mechanical trauma, and microbial insults. This barrier function is established during embryogenesis through a complex and tightly controlled stratification program. Whereas the morphological changes that occur during epidermal development have been extensively studied, the molecular mechanisms that govern this process remain poorly understood. In this review we summarize the current advances that have been made in understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate epidermal morphogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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