Regulation of epidermal keratin expression by retinoic acid and thyroid hormone

M. Ohtsuki, M. Tomic-Canic, I. M. Freedberg, M. Blumenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In the epidermis, retinoic acid (RA) is known to regulate the gene expression of keratins, the intermediate filament proteins of epithelial cells. We have cloned the upstream regulatory regions of three human epidermal keratin genes, K5, K10, and K14, and engineered DNA constructs in which these regions drive expression of the CAT reporter gene. By co-transfecting the constructs into various epithelial cell types along with the vectors expressing the nuclear receptors for RA and thytoid hormone (T3), we have shown that RA and T3 directly regulate expression of these three keratin genes through the action of their nuclear receptors. In this paper, we review our previous results to stress that RA has a dual effect on keratin expression in epidermis: both direct and indirect. We also analyze the DNA sequences upstream from those three RA-regulated keratin genes and identify the clusters of degenerate consensus half-site motifs, which may comprise the putative retinoic acid recognition elements (RAREs). Furthermore, our recent results concerning the regulation of K5 and K14 expression by the RA receptor are also shown; these confirm our predictions regarding the location of the RAREs in epidermal keratin genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-780
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Dermatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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