A human epidermal differentiation-specific keratin gene is regulated by calcium but not negative modulators of differentiation in transgenic mouse keratinocytes.

D. S. Rosenthal, P. M. Steinert, S. Chung, Carol Ann Huff, J. Johnson, S. H. Yuspa, D. R. Roop

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Keratins K1 and K10 represent the major differentiation products of the maturing epidermal keratinocytes. Primary epidermal cell cultures from newborn K1 transgenic mice containing a 12-kilobase human K1 genomic fragment were established in order to examine the expression of both human and mouse K1 in the presence of known modulators of epidermal differentiation. Elevated levels of Ca2+ in the culture medium induced both mouse K1 and human K1. Supplementing the medium with retinoic acid or 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate or introducing a Harvey viral ras oncogene (v-rasHa) into the cells completely suppressed mouse K1 but not human K1. Our results suggest that: (a) the human 12-kilobase insert contains all the necessary cis-acting elements to respond to the Ca2+ signal, and (b) other cis-acting elements, not present within this insert, may function independently to regulate the response of K1 to retinoids, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, and v-rasHa transformation. This transgenic model provides an approach to identify elements required for the regulation of an epidermal differentiation-specific gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalCell Growth and Differentiation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1991
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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