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Cell. 1990 Jun 15;61(6):1103-12.

Identification of a major keratinocyte cell envelope protein, loricrin.

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Laboratory of Cellular Carcinogenesis, National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


During epidermal cell cornification, the deposition of a layer of covalently cross-linked protein on the cytoplasmic face of the plasma membrane forms the cell envelope. We have isolated and characterized cDNA clones encoding a major differentiation product of mouse epidermal cells, which has an amino acid composition similar to that of purified cell envelopes. Transcripts of this gene are restricted to the granular layer and are as abundant as the differentiation-specific keratins, K1 and K10. An antiserum against a C-terminal peptide localizes this protein in discrete granules in the stratum granulosum and subsequently at the periphery of stratum corneum cells. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy detect this epitope only on the inner surface of purified cell envelopes. Taken together, these results suggest that it is a major component of cell envelopes. On the basis of its presumed function, this protein is named loricrin.

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