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J Invest Dermatol. 1993 Jun;100(6):729-34.

Structure, function, and dynamics of keratin intermediate filaments.

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Skin Biology Branch, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


The recent widespread application of modern methods of structural biology, molecular biology, and molecular genetics has provided a wealth of new information on the structure and function of the KIF of the epidermis. One of the more surprising aspects of this work has been the realization of the dynamic behavior of the KIF in living cells. Perhaps one of the more exciting aspects has been the discovery and understanding of how simple, single-nucleotide-point mutations in the keratin proteins can cause defects in the KIF that in turn cause serious pathology in the epidermis. The serendipitous and coincident nature of these studies shows us how an integrated, multifaceted approach will be necessary to solve further fundamental questions and to devise useful therapeutic approaches for the management of diseases of cornification. I fully expect that these issues will advance rapidly in the near future.

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