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Microsc Res Tech. 1998 Dec 1;43(5):444-55.

Contributions of the epidermal growth factor receptor to keratinocyte motility.

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Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 87131, USA.


The epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor plays a central role in numerous aspects of keratinocyte biology. In normal epidermis, the EGF receptor is important for autocrine growth of this renewing tissue, suppression of terminal differentiation, promotion of cell survival, and regulation of cell migration during epidermal morphogenesis and wound healing. In wounded skin, the EGF receptor is transiently up-regulated and is an important contributor to the proliferative and migratory aspects of wound reepithelialization. In keratinocytic carcinomas, aberrant expression or activation of the EGF receptor is common and has been proposed to play a role in tumor progression. Many cellular processes such as altered cell adhesion, expression of matrix degrading proteinases, and cell migration are common to keratinocytes during wound healing and in metastatic tumors. The EGF receptor is able to regulate each of these cellular functions and we propose that transient and dynamic elevation of EGF receptor during wound healing, or constitutive overexpression in tumors, provides an important contribution to the migratory and invasive potential of keratinocytes.

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