Send to

Choose Destination
J Dermatol Sci. 1998 Jul;17(3):167-81.

Epidermal signal transduction and transcription factor activation in activated keratinocytes.

Author information

Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY 10016, USA.


In the area of biology, many laboratories around the world are dissecting and characterizing signal transduction mechanisms and transcription factors responsive to various growth factors and cytokines, in various cell types. However, because of the differences in systems used, it is not clear whether these systems coexist, whether they interact meaningfully, and what their relative roles are. Epidermal keratinocytes are the perfect cell type in which to integrate this knowledge, because in these cells these mechanisms are known to be relevant. Keratinocytes both produce and respond to growth factors and cytokines, especially in pathological conditions and during wound healing, when the physiology of keratinocytes is altered in a way specified by the presence of a subset growth factors and cytokines. In fact, growth factors and cytokines cause the major changes in gene expression and keratinocyte behavior in various cutaneous diseases. In some cases, such as in wound healing, these responses are highly beneficial; in others, such as in psoriasis, they are pathological. It is not clear at present which are operating in which conditions, which are important for the healing process and which are harmful. Growth factors and cytokines affect keratinocytes sometimes simultaneously, at other times individually. In this manuscript we describe the signal transduction pathways responsible for the effects of interferons, the EGF/TGF alpha family and the TNF alpha/IL-1 family of signaling molecules. We also describe the important transcription factors known to be functional in epidermis, with particular emphasis on those factors that are activated by growth factors and cytokines. Finally, we describe what is known about transcriptional regulation of keratin genes, especially those specifically expressed in pathological processes in the epidermis. We expect that the enhanced understanding of the pathways regulating gene expression in keratinocytes will identify the pharmacological targets, the signal transducing proteins and the corresponding transcription factors, used by growth factors and cytokines. This research will led to development of compounds precisely aimed at those targets, allowing us to isolate and inhibit the harmful side effects of growth factors and cytokines. Such compounds should lead to highly specific and therefore more effective treatments of the cutaneous disorders in which these pathways play significant roles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center