Serum factors regulate the expression of the proliferation-related genes α5 integrin and keratin 1, but not keratin 10, in HaCat keratinocytes

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In the highly coordinated programme of gene expression during keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation, α5 integrin and keratins 1 and 10 (K1/K10) may play important regulatory roles. We were interested in seeing whether, in continuously growing, immortalized HaCaT keratinocytes, similar to normal keratinocytes, the expression of α5 integrin and K1/K10 was related to cell proliferation and differentiation. After release from cell quiescence the expression of α5 integrin, both at the mRNA and protein levels, was upregulated in the cells. At the same time, K1/K10 mRNA and protein expression decreased dramatically, while the mRNA for D1 cyclin became detectable, and the cells became highly proliferative. These findings indicate that α5 integrin and K1/K10 are involved in the regulation of HaCaT proliferation and differentiation, as in normal keratinocytes. However, HaCaT cells are different from normal keratinocytes in their ability to lose K1/K10 expression. There is no evidence that the expression of K1/K10 can be reversed in normal keratinocytes. This ability of dedifferentiation might be a unique feature of HaCaT cells and may be a key component of their immortalized nature. We also found that serum factors regulate mRNA expression of α5 integrin and K1, but not of K10, in HaCaT cells. This information could be relevant to the understanding of normal epidermal differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-213
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Dermatological Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 12 2001



  • Differentiation
  • HaCaT keratinocytes
  • Keratins 1 and 10
  • Proliferation
  • α5 integrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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