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Exp Dermatol. 2012 Jun;21(6):458-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2012.01505.x.

Wool-derived keratin stimulates human keratinocyte migration and types IV and VII collagen expression.


Keratinocyte migration is essential for wound repair. Keratin-based products have recently shown stimulatory effects on wound repair. This study was to test the cellular response to wool-derived oxidized keratin in wound healing to further understand the biological mechanisms underlying observed clinical benefits of keratin-based products as wound treatments. In vitro scratch migration assays examined the effects of oxidized keratin on the migration of human skin keratinocytes. Western blotting analysis determined the effects on the marker protein expression of type IV and type VII collagens and keratin 17. We found wool-derived oxidized keratin promoted keratinocyte migration and induced protein expression of type IV and type VII collagens, but not keratin 17. The data suggest that the beneficial effects of keratin-based treatment in wounds may be related to its positive effects on re-epithelialization via stimulating keratinocyte migration and production of basement membrane proteins of types IV and VII collagens.

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