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Br J Dermatol. 2012 Jun;166(6):1245-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.10885.x.

Expression profile of cornified envelope structural proteins and keratinocyte differentiation-regulating proteins during skin barrier repair.

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Department of Dermatology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Recent studies have emphasized the importance of heritable and acquired skin barrier abnormalities in common inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD). To date, no comprehensive studies on the effect of experimental barrier disruption on cornified envelope protein expression have been performed.


To analyse the effect of experimental skin barrier disruption on the expression of cornified envelope structural proteins and keratinocyte differentiation-regulating proteins.


We examined mRNA (day 1, 3 and 7) and protein (day 1, 2, 4 and 9) expression levels of structural proteins and regulatory molecules after sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) application on normal skin, and tape stripping of uninvolved epidermis of patients with psoriasis and AD and healthy controls.


Upon tape stripping, several structural molecules were significantly downregulated (at the mRNA level as well as the protein level), including LCE5A, LCE2B, FLG, FLG2 and LOR, whereas others were upregulated: IVL, SPRR1, SPRR2, HRNR and most notably LCE3A. The epidermal crosslinking enzymes TGM1, TGM3 and TGM5 were all upregulated, whereas proteases involved in the desquamation process (CTSV, KLK5 and KLK7) were downregulated or unaffected. Most results were similar in SDS-instigated irritant contact dermatitis. There was no significant difference in response between normal epidermis and nonlesional skin of patients with psoriasis and AD.


Skin barrier disruption induces a temporary barrier repair response composed of increased expression of several cornification-related proteins, and decreased expression of some structural and desquamation-related proteins.

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