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Formation of a Normal Epidermis Supported by Increased Stability of Keratins 5 and 14 in Keratin 10 Null Mice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Julia Reichelt


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The expression of distinct keratin pairs during epidermal differentiation is assumed to fulfill specific and essential cytoskeletal functions. This is supported by a great variety of genodermatoses exhibiting tissue fragility because of keratin mutations. Here, we show that the loss of K10, the most prominent epidermal protein, allowed the formation of a normal epidermis in neonatal mice without signs of fragility or wound-healing response. However, there were profound changes in the composition of suprabasal keratin filaments. K5/14 persisted suprabasally at elevated protein levels, whereas their mRNAs remained restricted to the basal keratinocytes. This indicated a novel mechanism regulating keratin turnover. Moreover, the amount of K1 was reduced. In the absence of its natural partner we observed the formation of a minor amount of novel K1/14/15 filaments as revealed by immunogold electron microscopy. We suggest that these changes maintained epidermal integrity. Furthermore, suprabasal keratinocytes contained larger keratohyalin granules similar to our previous K10T mice. A comparison of profilaggrin processing in K10T and K10−/− mice revealed an accumulation of filaggrin precursors in the former but not in the latter, suggesting a requirement of intact keratin filaments for the processing. The mild phenotype of K10−/− mice suggests that there is a considerable redundancy in the keratin gene family.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Reichelt J, Bussow H, Grund C, Magin TM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Molecular Biology of the Cell

Year: 2001

Volume: 12

Issue: 6

Pages: 1557-1568

ISSN (print): 1059-1524

ISSN (electronic): 1939-4586

Publisher: American Society for Cell Biology