Keratin 17 Gene Expression during the Murine Hair Cycle

Panteleyev, Andrei A.; Paus, Ralf; Wanner, Reinhard; Nürnberg, Wolf; Eichmüller, Stefan; Thiel, Renate; Juan Zhang; Henz, Beate M.; Rosenbach, Thomas
March 1997
Journal of Investigative Dermatology;Mar1997, Vol. 108 Issue 3, p324
Academic Journal
Keratin 17 (K17) expression is currently considered to be associated with hyperplastic or malignant growth of epithelial cells. The functions of this keratin in normal skin physiology and the regulation of its gene expression, however, are still unclear. As one possible approach to further explore K17 functions, we have studied the differential patterns of mouse K17 (MK17) transcription during the murine hair cycle by means of in situ hybridization, using a digoxigenin-labeled riboprobe. Cycling hair follicles in the skin of C57BL/6 mice were found to be the only skin structures expressing MK17 under physiologic conditions. MK17 transcripts were constantly observed throughout all hair cycle stages in the suprainfundibular outer root sheath (ORS). The MK17 expression was also evident in the isthmus part of the ORS, where it was expressed weakly and was spatially restricted during telogen, with an increase in early anagen and stable expression during mid- and late anagen, localizing to the zone of so-called trichilemmal keratinization. In addition, in early anagen, a group of epithelial cells in or next to the bulge region stained weakly for MK17. With progressing anagen development, MK17 expression in this region increased and was consistently localized to keratinocytes at the advancing front of the emerging epithelial hair bulb. In mid- and late anagen, this zone of MK17 expression spread along the proximal ORS, with a maximal level of expression in the innermost cell layer of the ORS. Overall, these findings provide data on the MK17 expression profile of normal murine skin and demonstrate hair-cycle- dependent regulation of MK17 expression.


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