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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Disruption of the suprabasal keratin network by mutation M150T in the helix initiation motif of keratin 10 does not affect cornified cell envelope formation in human epidermis.

Keratin 10 (K10) is known to be tightly bound to the cornified cell envelope (CCE) and this binding is thought to play an important role in enhancing the structural integrity of the cornified cells. Bullous congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma (BCIE) is a genetic disorder of keratinization caused by gene mutations in the conserved sequences of keratin 1 (K1) or K10, which leads to abnormal suprabasal keratin network assembly. In BCIE patients' skin, the keratin network abnormalities make the upper spinous and granular keratinocytes fragile and result in blister formation. However, the exact pathomechanism of the hyperkeratosis seen in BCIE is still unknown. The involvement of the CCE in the pathomechanism of hyperkeratosis in BCIE is controversial. Abnormal CCE assembly may cause hyperkeratosis as reported in cases of lamellar ichthyosis. Binding of K10 to CCE is thought to be a vital connection between the suprabasal keratin filament network and CCE. We hypothesize that abnormal suprabasal keratin assembly caused by either K1 or K10 mutations can disrupt CCE formation, resulting in the hyperkeratosis observed in BCIE. To clarify whether K10 and keratin network defects affect CCE formation in vivo, the ultrastructural and immunohistological features of CCE were studied in the epidermis of two Japanese BCIE patients from two independent families carrying an identical missense mutation M150T in the helix initiation motif of K10. Ultrastructurally, a 15-nm-thick, dense, normal-appearing CCE was formed at the cell periphery of the keratinized epidermal cells. Light and electron microscopic immunolabeling revealed that the major CCE precursor proteins, involucrin and loricrin, were normally distributed and restricted to CCE of the epidermis. Immunofluorescent labeling showed that epidermal TGases, TGase 1, TGase 2 and TGase 3, were expressed normally in the epidermis. These findings suggest that a normal CCE is formed during the process of human epidermal keratinization, even if the suprabasal keratin filament network is disrupted as with this particular K10 mutation, M150T in BCIE.[1]


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