Key words Keratin
Epidermolysis bullosa simplex
Cornified cell envelope
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Basal keratins, suprabasal keratins, filaggrin, and cornified cell envelope (CCE) precursor proteins are expressed during the differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes. These molecules are coordinately expressed during epidermal differentiation. The present study investigated the expression patterns of keratins and CCE precursor proteins in 15 patients with epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), which is caused by mutations in the genes that encode for the basal keratins, keratins 5 and 14. The patterns of expression of keratins 5, 14, 1 and 10, filaggrin, and of the three major CCE precursor proteins, involucrin, loricrin and small proline-rich proteins 1 and 2 (SPRs), were studied immunohistochemically and by electron microscopy. In 14 of the 15 patients with EBS, the distribution pattern of keratins was not altered. In one neonate with EBS, basal cell keratins were expressed in the suprabasal layers. Ultrastructurally, numerous clumped tonofilaments were observed in the basal and suprabasal cells. In all cases, findings were positive for filaggrin in the granular cells, with positivity for involucrin in the upper spinous and granular cells. The upper spinous cells and granular cells were positive for SPRs 1 and 2, and loricrin was expressed in granular cells. Ultrastructurally, no marked abnormality was observed in the suprabasal layers such as a decrease in, or agglutination of, keratin filaments, except in one neonate. A CCE about 15 nm thick was formed normally in the cell membrane of cornified cells. The patterns of distributions of basal cell keratins, suprabasal keratins, filaggrin, and CCE precursor proteins, as well as the ultrastructural findings, resembled those of normal skin. Thus, the abnormality in basal cell keratins in patients with EBS did not appear to alter the patterns of expression of the keratins and CCE precursor proteins.
Type of Medium: