Genes for intermediate filament proteins and the draft sequence of the human genome: novel keratin genes and a surprisingly high number of pseudogenes related to keratin genes 8 and 18. (1/31)

We screened the draft sequence of the human genome for genes that encode intermediate filament (IF) proteins in general, and keratins in particular. The draft covers nearly all previously established IF genes including the recent cDNA and gene additions, such as pancreatic keratin 23, synemin and the novel muscle protein syncoilin. In the draft, seven novel type II keratins were identified, presumably expressed in the hair follicle/epidermal appendages. In summary, 65 IF genes were detected, placing IF among the 100 largest gene families in humans. All functional keratin genes map to the two known keratin clusters on chromosomes 12 (type II plus keratin 18) and 17 (type I), whereas other IF genes are not clustered. Of the 208 keratin-related DNA sequences, only 49 reflect true keratin genes, whereas the majority describe inactive gene fragments and processed pseudogenes. Surprisingly, nearly 90% of these inactive genes relate specifically to the genes of keratins 8 and 18. Other keratin genes, as well as those that encode non-keratin IF proteins, lack either gene fragments/pseudogenes or have only a few derivatives. As parasitic derivatives of mature mRNAs, the processed pseudogenes of keratins 8 and 18 have invaded most chromosomes, often at several positions. We describe the limits of our analysis and discuss the striking unevenness of pseudogene derivation in the IF multigene family. Finally, we propose to extend the nomenclature of Moll and colleagues to any novel keratin.  (+info)

Inhibition of basement membrane formation by a nidogen-binding laminin gamma1-chain fragment in human skin-organotypic cocultures. (2/31)

Basement membranes generally determine different tissue compartments in complex organs, such as skin, playing not only an important structural but also a regulatory role. We have previously demonstrated the formation of a regular basement membrane in organotypic three-dimensional (3D)-cocultures of human skin keratinocytes and fibroblasts by indirect immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. In this assembly process, cross-linking of type IV collagen and the laminin gamma1 chain by nidogen is considered a crucial step. For a functional proof, we have now competitively inhibited nidogen binding to laminin in 3D-cocultures with a recombinant laminin gamma1 fragment (gamma1III3-5 module) spanning this binding site. Repeated treatment abolished the deposition of nidogen at the epithelial-matrix interface but also greatly perturbed the presence of other matrix constituents such as laminin and perlecan. This effect persisted over the entire observation period of 10 to 21 days. In contrast, some components of the basement membrane zone were only moderately affected, with the laminin-5 isoform (gamma2 chain), type IV collagen and integrin alpha6ss4 still showing a distinct staining at their regular position, when seen by light microscopy. Furthermore, epidermal morphology and differentiation remained largely normal as indicated by the regular location of keratins K1/K10 and also of late differentiation markers. Ultrastructural examination demonstrated that the gamma1 fragment completely suppressed any formation of basement membrane structures (lamina densa) and also of hemidesmosomal adhesion complexes. As a consequence of hemidesmosome deficiency, keratin filament bundles were not attached to the ventral basal cell aspect. These findings were further substantiated by immuno-electron microscopy, revealing either loss or drastic reduction and dislocation of basement membrane and hemidesmosomal components. Taken together, in this simplified human skin model (representing a 'closed system') a functional link has been demonstrated between compound structures of the extra- and intracellular space at the junctional zone providing a basis to interfere at distinct points and in a controlled fashion.  (+info)

8-Cl-Adenosine enhances 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-induced growth inhibition without affecting 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-stimulated differentiation of primary mouse epidermal keratinocytes. (3/31)

BACKGROUND: Epidermal keratinocytes continuously proliferate and differentiate to form the mechanical and water permeability barrier that makes terrestrial life possible. In certain skin diseases, these processes become dysregulated, resulting in abnormal barrier formation. In particular, skin diseases such as psoriasis, actinic keratosis and basal and squamous cell carcinomas are characterized by hyperproliferation and aberrant or absent differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes. We previously demonstrated that 8-Cl-adenosine (8-Cl-Ado) can induce keratinocyte growth arrest without inducing differentiation. RESULTS: To determine if this agent might be useful in treating hyperproliferative skin disorders, we investigated whether 8-Cl-Ado could enhance the ability of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3], a known keratinocyte differentiating agent and a clinical treatment for psoriasis, to inhibit keratinocyte growth. We found that low concentrations of 8-Cl-Ado and 1,25(OH)2D3 appeared to act additively to reduce proliferation of primary mouse epidermal keratinocytes. However, another agent (transforming growth factor-beta) that triggers growth arrest without inducing differentiation also coincidentally inhibits differentiation elicited by other agents; inhibition of differentiation is suboptimal for treating skin disorders, as differentiation is often already reduced. Thus, we determined whether 8-Cl-Ado also decreased keratinocyte differentiation induced by 1,25(OH)2D3, as measured using the early and late differentiation markers, keratin 1 protein levels and transglutaminase activity, respectively. 8-Cl-Ado did not affect 1,25(OH)2D3-stimulated keratin 1 protein expression or transglutaminase activity. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that 8-Cl-Ado might be useful in combination with differentiating agents for the treatment of hyperproliferative disorders of the skin.  (+info)

Characterization of new members of the human type II keratin gene family and a general evaluation of the keratin gene domain on chromosome 12q13.13. (4/31)

The recent completion of a reference sequence of the human genome now allows a complete characterization of the type II keratin gene domain on chromosome 12q13.13. This, domain, approximately 780 kb in size, is present on nine bacterial artificial chromosome clones sequenced by the Human Genome Sequencing Project. The type II keratin domain contains 27 keratin genes and eight pseudogenes. Twenty-three of these genes and four pseudogenes have been previously reported. This study describes, in addition to the genomic sequencing of the K2p gene and the bioinformatic identification of four keratin pseudogenes, the characterization of cDNA corresponding to three previously undescribed keratin genes K1b, K6l, and Kb20, as well as cDNA sequences for the previously described keratin genes hHb2, hHb4, and K3. Northern analysis of the new keratins K1b, K6l, K5b, and Kb20 using mRNA of major organs as well as of specific epithelial subtypes shows singular expression of these keratins in skin, hair follicles and, for K5b and Kb20, in tongue, respectively. In addition, the obvious discrepancies between the current reference sequence of the human genome and the previously described gene/cDNA sequences for K6c, K6d, K6e, K6f, K6h are investigated, leading to the conclusion that K6c, K6d as well as K6e, K6f are probably polymorphic variants of K6a and K6h, respectively. All 26 human type II keratins found on this domain as well as K18, dtype 1 Keratin, are identified at the genomic and transcriptional level. This appears to be the total complement of functional type II keratins in humans.  (+info)

Characterization of a novel human type II epithelial keratin K1b, specifically expressed in eccrine sweat glands. (5/31)

In this study, we show that a novel human type II epithelial keratin, K1b, is exclusively expressed in luminal duct cells of eccrine sweat glands. Taking this luminal K1b expression as a reference, we have used antibodies against a plethora of epithelial keratins to systematically investigate their expression in the secretory globule and the two-layered sweat duct, which was divided into the intraglandular, intradermal, and intraepidermal (acrosyringium) segments, the latter being further subdivided into the sweat duct ridge and upper intraepidermal duct. We show that (i) each of the eccrine sweat gland tissue compartments expresses their own keratin patterns, (ii) the peripheral and luminal duct layers exhibit a sequential keratin expression, with both representing self-renewing cell layers, (iii) the intradermal duct and the sweat duct ridge display hitherto unknown length variations, and (iv) out of all cell layers, the luminal cell layer is the most robust layer and expresses the highest number of keratins, these being concentrated at the apical side of the cells to form the cuticle. We provide evidence that the cellular and intercellular properties of the peripheral and the luminal layers reflect adaptations to different functions.  (+info)

A novel mutation and large size polymorphism affecting the V2 domain of keratin 1 in an African-American family with severe, diffuse palmoplantar keratoderma of the ichthyosis hystrix Curth-Macklin type. (6/31)

Keratin gene mutations affecting nonhelical head and tail domains are not usually associated with prominent skin blistering and keratin filament clumping. Instead, they have been associated with several distinct clinical phenotypes, such as epidermolysis bullosa simplex with mottled pigmentation (mutation P25L in the V1 domain of keratin 5), epidermolysis bullosa simplex with migratory circinate erythema (frameshift mutation c1649delG in the V2 domain of keratin 5), striate palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK), and ichthyosis hystrix Curth-Macklin (different frameshift mutations in the V2 domain of keratin 1 (K1)). We have studied a family with severe, diffuse, nonepidermolytic PPK and verrucous hyperkeratotic plaques over the joints and in flexures and identified a new KRT1 gene mutation that is predicted to completely alter the K1 tail domain. In addition, a new K1 size polymorphism has been detected, which is especially prevalent among the African-American population. These results further emphasize the functional importance of the nonhelical tail domain in keratin molecules despite the obvious variability in the number of glycine loop motifs and underscore the broad phenotypic spectrum of disorders due to dominant keratin tail mutations.  (+info)

Mutation S233L in the 1B domain of keratin 1 causes epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma with "tonotubular" keratin. (7/31)

Epidermolytic palmoplantar keratoderma (EPPK) is an autosomal dominant genodermatosis characterized by epidermolytic hyperkeratosis restricted to the palm and sole epidermis. The disorder is normally associated with dominant-negative mutations in the keratin 9 (K9) gene; however, a small number of cases have been reported where causative mutations were identified in the K1 gene. Here, we present two unrelated Dutch EPPK families with striking ultrastructural findings: tubular keratin structures in the cytoplasm of suprabasal cells. Similar structures were reported previously in a German EPPK family and were termed "tonotubular" keratin. After excluding the involvement of the K9 gene by complete sequencing, we identified a novel mutation, S233L, at the beginning of the 1B domain of K1 in both families. Protein expression studies in cultured cells indicated pathogenicity of this mutation. This is the first report of a genetic defect in this domain of K1. The unusual gain-of-function mutation points to a subtle role of the 1B domain in mediating filament-filament interactions with regular periodicity.  (+info)

Allele-specific KRT1 expression is a complex trait. (8/31)

The differential expression of alleles occurs commonly in humans and is likely an important genetic factor underlying heritable differences in phenotypic traits. Understanding the molecular basis of allelic expression differences is thus an important challenge. Although many genes have been shown to display differential allelic expression, this is the first study to examine in detail the cumulative effects of multiple cis-regulatory polymorphisms responsible for allele-specific expression differences. We have used a variety of experimental approaches to identify and characterize cis-regulatory polymorphisms responsible for the extreme allele-specific expression differences of keratin-1 (KRT1) in human white blood cells. The combined data from our analyses provide strong evidence that the KRT1 allelic expression differences result from the haplotypic combinations and interactions of five cis-regulatory single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) whose alleles differ in their affinity to bind transcription factors and modulate KRT1 promoter activity. Two of these cis-regulatory SNPs bind transcriptional activators with the alleles on the high-expressing KRT1 haplotype pattern having a higher affinity than the alleles on the low-expressing haplotype pattern. In contrast, the other three cis-regulatory SNPs bind transcriptional inhibitors with the alleles on the low-expressing haplotype pattern having a higher affinity than the alleles on the high-expressing haplotype pattern. Our study provides important new insights into the degree of complexity that the cis-regulatory sequences responsible for allele-specific transcriptional regulation have. These data suggest that allelic expression differences result from the cumulative contribution of multiple DNA sequence polymorphisms, with each having a small effect, and that allele-specific expression can thus be viewed as a complex trait.  (+info)