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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1994 Oct;4(5):725-36.

The epidermis: rising to the surface.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637.


At the skin surface, the epidermis serves an important protective function which it manifests by building an extensive cytoskeletal architecture of keratin filaments, spanning from the nuclear envelope to hemidesmosomes and desmosomes. Recent studies on epidermal proteins and their interactions have provided insights into human skin diseases, including genetic disorders of keratins, laminins, and collagen. Explorations into the regulatory mechanisms underlying epidermal genes have underscored the importance of transcription factors AP-1 and AP-2, retinoic acid receptors, and POU proteins. Transgenic and gene ablation experiments on TGF-alpha and TGF-beta genes have yielded clues as to how the epidermis maintains a balance of growing and differentiating cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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