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

Differentiation-dependent expression of keratins in human oral epithelia.

The polypeptide composition of epithelial keratins varies with the state of differentiation. The epithelia lining the human oral cavity show regional variations in their histology. In the present study, paired samples of nonkeratinized buccal epithelium and keratinized hard palate epithelium were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and by immunoblots with monoclonal antibodies AE1, AE2, and AE3, and results were correlated with immunofluorescence staining of tissue sections of the same samples. Keratins from hard palate (Mr 67K, 63-65K, 58K, 56.5K, 56K, 50K, 48K) and epidermis (Mr 67K, 63-65K, 58K, 56.5K, 50K) were similar to each other but distinctly different from those of buccal epithelium (major bands of Mr 52K and 59K, minor bands of 50K and 58K). The immunoblot analysis further indicated the similarity of hard palate and epidermal keratins, in contrast to those of buccal epithelium. Each oral tissue expressed keratins of the type I (AE1, acidic) subfamily and type II (AE3, basic) subfamily. In tissue sections, the predominant staining pattern for nonkeratinized buccal epithelium was: AE1, positive in the basal layer; AE2, negative; AE3, positive in all layers. In contrast, the staining pattern for keratinized palatal epithelium was: AE1 and AE2, positive in the suprabasal layers; AE3, positive in all layers. Strong suprabasal AE1 staining in palate may be related to the presence of the 48K keratin. Some buccal samples showed an alternate staining pattern of spotty suprabasal staining with AE1 and AE2 which was correlated with the expression of the 56.5K and 63-67K keratins, as well as filaggrin. These results suggest differentiation-specific expression of the keratins and show immunologically detectable variation in the apparently normal differentiation pattern of nonkeratinized buccal epithelium.[1]


  1. Differentiation-dependent expression of keratins in human oral epithelia. Clausen, H., Vedtofte, P., Moe, D., Dabelsteen, E., Sun, T.T., Dale, B. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1986) [Pubmed]
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