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J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Aug;129(8):1858-60. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.91.

Hyaluronan accumulation in wounded epidermis: a mediator of keratinocyte activation.

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Department of Biomedicine, Biocenter Kuopio, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.


The high-molecular-mass polysaccharide hyaluronan is abundant in the extracellular space between adjacent keratinocytes throughout the vital part of epidermis. It has a rapid turnover, and its content is subject to large fluctuations due to physiological and environmental conditions, with the strongest effects mediated by EGFR signaling. Using an elegant organotypic culture system, Monslow et al. (2009, this issue) demonstrate that heparin-binding (HB)-EGF released from its membrane anchor is the major ligand of EGFR in injured epidermis, accounting for the autocrine and paracrine activation of hyaluronan synthesis by the keratinocytes in the neighborhood, thus facilitating the epidermal wound-healing response.

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