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J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Mar;132(3 Pt 2):763-75. doi: 10.1038/jid.2011.450. Epub 2012 Jan 26.

Defining keratin protein function in skin epithelia: epidermolysis bullosa simplex and its aftermath.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA. pcoulomb@jhsph.edu

Abstract

Epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS) is a rare genetic condition typified by superficial bullous lesions following incident frictional trauma to the skin. Most cases of EBS are due to dominantly acting mutations in keratin 14 (K14) or K5, the type I and II intermediate filament (IF) proteins that copolymerize to form a pancytoplasmic network of 10 nm filaments in basal keratinocytes of epidermis and related epithelia. Defects in K5-K14 filament network architecture cause basal keratinocytes to become fragile, and account for their rupture upon exposure to mechanical trauma. The discovery of the etiology and pathophysiology of EBS was intimately linked to the quest for an understanding of the properties and function of keratin filaments in skin epithelia. Since then, continued cross-fertilization between basic science efforts and clinical endeavors has highlighted several additional functional roles for keratin proteins in the skin, suggested new avenues for effective therapies for keratin-based diseases, and expanded our understanding of the remarkable properties of the skin as an organ system.

PMID:
22277943
PMCID:
PMC3279600
DOI:
10.1038/jid.2011.450
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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