In vitro Studies of Genodermatoses Affecting Cytoskeletal Integrity and Lipid Processing in Human Epidermis Pathogenic Mechanisms and Effects of Retinoid Therapy
Sammanfattning: Autosomal dominant epidermolytic ichthyosis (EI) is a rare disease characterized by intra-epidermal blistering due to mutations in either of two keratin genes, KRT1 and KRT10, expressed by suprabasal keratinocytes. Autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis (ARCI) is a non-blistering, hyperkeratotic disease caused by mutations in one of the following genes: ABCA12, ALOX12B, ALOXE3, TGM1, CYP4F22, NIPAL4 and SLC27A4, which are all essential for skin barrier homeostasis. ARCI and EI often respond well to treatment with retinoids, but the mechanism of action is unclear. The aim of this thesis was to increase the knowledge of pathogenic pathways in ichthyosis and to find new explanations to the effect of retinoids.In vitro studies of immortalized keratinocytes from EI patients showed an abnormal keratin aggregation after heat stress, that could be partially inhibited by pre-treatment with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) or retinoic acid receptor ?-agonists. ATRA treatment also reduced the relative expression of mutated vs wildtype KRT10. The clearance of ATRA in human keratinocytes was found to be mediated by CYP26B1.In skin biopsies from ARCI patients, immunofluorescence analysis of 12R-LOX, eLOX-3, TGM1, ichthyin and FATP4 showed altered expression, not only of the mutated protein, but also of the other proteins. These observations are consistent with a feedback regulatory mechanism by which the loss of one protein results in an up-regulation of other proteins. Furthermore, 12R-LOX, eLOX-3 and TGM1 were intimately co-localized in stratum corneum, as were ichthyin and FATP4, suggesting that the proteins are linked to the same metabolic pathway. When treated with a CYP26 inhibitor known to raise the endogenous ATRA level of the skin, two patients with NIPAL4 mutations, initially exhibiting increased co-localization signals for 12R-LOX and eLOX-3, displayed normalized lipoxygenase expressions and showed clinical improvement.In conclusion, mechanisms are proposed by which pathogenic keratin aggregations in EI and epidermal protein deficiencies in ARCI patients may be mitigated by retinoids. Furthermore, the vivid crosstalk between proteins incriminated in ARCI suggests that these enzymes operate along a common metabolic pathway essential for producing barrier lipids in stratum corneum. Any abrogation of this production may cause barrier failure, hence resulting in a compensatory hyperkeratosis characteristic of congenital ichthyosis.
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