A keratinocyte is the predominant cell type in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, constituting 90% of the cells found there. Those keratinocytes found in the basal layer (stratum basale) of the skin are sometimes referred to as "basal cells" or "basal keratinocytes".
- Function 1
- Structure 2
- Cell differentiation 3
- Interaction with other cells 4
- Role in wound healing 5
- Sunburn cells 6
- See also 7
- References 8
- External links 9
The primary function of keratinocytes is the formation of a barrier against environmental damage by pathogenic bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses, heat, UV radiation and water loss. Once pathogens start to invade the upper layers of the epidermis, keratinocytes can react by producing proinflammatory mediators, particularly chemokines such as CXCL10 and CCL2 which attract leukocytes to the site of pathogen invasion.
A number of structural proteins (filaggrin, keratin), enzymes (proteases), lipids and antimicrobial peptides (defensins) contribute to maintain the important barrier function of the skin. Keratinization is part of the physical barrier formation (cornification), in which the keratinocytes produce more and more keratin and undergo terminal differentiation. The fully cornified keratinocytes that form the outermost layer are constantly shed off and replaced by new cells.
Epidermal stem cells reside in the lower part of the epidermis (stratum basale) and are attached to the basement membrane through hemidesmosomes. Epidermal stem cells divide in a stochastic manner yielding either more stem cells or transit amplifying cells. Some of the transit amplifying cells continue to proliferate then commit to
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- Tu, CL; Oda, Y; Bikle, DD (1999). "Effects of a calcium receptor activator on the cellular response to calcium in human keratinocytes". The Journal of investigative dermatology 113 (3): 340–5.
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- Su, MJ; Bikle, DD; Mancianti, ML; Pillai, S (1994). "1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 potentiates the keratinocyte response to calcium". The Journal of Biological Chemistry 269 (20): 14723–9.
- Fu, G. K.; Lin, D; Zhang, MY; Bikle, DD; Shackleton, CH; Miller, WL; Portale, AA (1997). "Cloning of Human 25-Hydroxyvitamin D-1 -Hydroxylase and Mutations Causing Vitamin D-Dependent Rickets Type 1". Molecular Endocrinology 11 (13): 1961–70.
- Kawakubo, Tomoyo; Yasukochi, Atsushi; Okamoto, Kuniaki; Okamoto, Yoshiko; Nakamura, Seiji; Yamamoto, Kenji (2011). "The role of cathepsin E in terminal differentiation of keratinocytes". Biological Chemistry 392 (6): 571–85.
- Jackson, B.; Brown, S. J.; Avilion, A. A.; O'Shaughnessy, R. F. L.; Sully, K.; Akinduro, O.; Murphy, M.; Cleary, M. L.; Byrne, C. (2011). "TALE homeodomain proteins regulate site-specific terminal differentiation, LCE genes and epidermal barrier". Journal of Cell Science 124 (10): 1681.
- Rheinwald, JG; Green, H (1975). "Serial cultivation of strains of human epidermal keratinocytes: The formation of keratinizing colonies from single cells". Cell 6 (3): 331–43.
- Truong, AB; Kretz, M; Ridky, TW; Kimmel, R; Khavari, PA (2006). "P63 regulates proliferation and differentiation of developmentally mature keratinocytes". Genes & Development 20 (22): 3185–97.
- Fuchs, E; Green, H (1981). "Regulation of terminal differentiation of cultured human keratinocytes by vitamin A". Cell 25 (3): 617–25.
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- Barrandon, Y; Green, H (1987). "Cell migration is essential for sustained growth of keratinocyte colonies: The roles of transforming growth factor-alpha and epidermal growth factor". Cell 50 (7): 1131–7.
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- Claudinot, S; Nicolas, M; Oshima, H; Rochat, A; Barrandon, Y (2005). "Long-term renewal of hair follicles from clonogenic multipotent stem cells". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 (41): 14677–82.
- Ito, M; Yang, Z; Andl, T; Cui, C; Kim, N; Millar, SE; Cotsarelis, G (2007). "Wnt-dependent de novo hair follicle regeneration in adult mouse skin after wounding". Nature 447 (7142): 316–20.
- Myers, Simon R.; Leigh, Irene M.; Navsaria, Harshad (September 26, 2007). "Epidermal repair results from activation of follicular and epidermal progenitor keratinocytes mediated by a growth factor cascade". Wound Repair and Regeneration 15 (5): 693–701.
- Anderson KI, Wang YL, Small JV (September 1996). "Coordination of protrusion and translocation of the keratocyte involves rolling of the cell body". J. Cell Biol. 134 (5): 1209–18.
- Y Shen, Y Guo, C Du, M Wilczynska, S Hellström, T Ny, Mice Deficient in Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator Have Delayed Healing of Tympanic Membrane Perforations, PLOS ONE, 2012
- Young AR (June 1987). "The sunburn cell".
- Sheehan JM, Young AR (June 2002). "The sunburn cell revisited: an update on mechanistic aspects".
A sunburn cell is a keratinocyte with a pyknotic nucleus and eosinophilic cytoplasm that appears after exposure to UVC or UVB radiation or UVA in the presence of psoralens. It shows premature and abnormal keratinization, and has been described as an example of apoptosis.
Functional keratinocytes are needed for tympanic perforation healing.
Wounds to the skin will be repaired in part by the migration of keratinocytes to fill in the gap created by the wound. The first set of keratinocytes to participate in that repair come from the bulge region of the hair follicle and will only survive transiently. Within the healed epidermis they will be replaced by keratinocytes originating from the epidermis.
Role in wound healing
Keratinocytes contribute to protecting the body from ultraviolet radiation (UVR) by taking up melanosomes, vesicles containing the endogenous photoprotectant melanin, from epidermal melanocytes. Each melanocyte in the epidermis has several dendrites that stretch out to connect it with many keratinocytes. The melanin is then stored within keratinocytes and melanocytes in the perinuclear area as supranuclear “caps”, where it protects the DNA from UVR-induced damage.
Within the epidermis keratinocytes are associated with other cell types such as melanocytes and Langerhans cells. Keratinocytes form tight junctions with the nerves of the skin and hold the Langerhans cells and intra-dermal lymphocytes in position within the epidermis. Keratinocytes also modulate the immune system: apart from the above-mentioned antimicrobial peptides and chemokines they are also potent producers of anti-inflammatory mediators such as IL-10 and TGF-β. When activated, they can stimulate cutaneous inflammation and Langerhans cell activation via TNFα and IL-1β secretion.
Interaction with other cells
- The transcription factor p63, which preventing epidermal stem cells to differentiate into keratinocytes.
- Vitamin A and its analogues.
- Epidermal growth factor.
- transforming growth factor alpha.
- Cholera toxin
Since keratinocyte differentiation inhibits keratinocyte proliferation, factors that promote keratinocyte proliferation should be considered as preventing differentiation. These factors include:
- A calcium gradient, with the lowest concentration in the stratum basale and increasing concentrations until the outer stratum granulosum, where it reaches its maximum. Calcium concentration in the stratum corneum is very low in part because those relatively dry cells are not able to dissolve the ions. Those elevations of extracellular calcium concentrations induces an increase in intracellular free calcium concentrations in keratinocytes. Part of that intracellular calcium increase comes from calcium released from intracellular stores and another part comes from transmembrane calcium influx, through both calcium-sensitive chloride channels and voltage-independent cation channels permeable to calcium. Moreover, it has been suggested that an extracellular calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) also contributes to the rise in intracellular calcium concentration.
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) regulates keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation mostly by modulating calcium concentrations and regulating the expression of genes involved in keratinocyte differentiation. Keratinocytes are the only cells in the body with the entire vitamin D metabolic pathway from vitamin D production to catabolism and Vitamin D receptor expression.
- Cathepsin E.
- TALE homeodomain transcription factors.
Factors promoting keratinocyte differentiation are:
At each stage of differentiation, keratinocytes express specific keratins, such as keratin 1, keratin 5, keratin 10 and keratin 14, but also other markers such as involucrin, loricrin, transglutaminase, filaggrin and caspase 14.
as new ones come in. desquamation Corneocytes will eventually be shed off through  Corneocytes are keratinocytes that have completed their differentiation program and have lost their
During this differentiation process, keratinocytes permanently withdraw from the cell cycle, initiate expression of epidermal differentiation markers, and move suprabasally as they become part of the stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum and eventually become corneocytes in the stratum corneum.