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Dev Biol December 1, 1985; 112 (2): 329-37.

Developmental changes in keratin patterns during epidermal maturation.

Ellison TR , Mathisen PM , Miller L .

The biochemical maturation of the epidermis of Xenopus laevis was examined through an identification of the keratins expressed at selected stages of development. The keratin patterns obtained were compared to those observed in the adult epidermis and two Xenopus non-epidermal, epithelial cell lines. The keratins expressed during development can be grouped into three classes: (1) keratins which are restricted to the embryonic epidermis (58 and 59 kDa); (2) keratins which are prominent during development, but become minor components of the adult epidermis (47, 48, and 60 kDa); and (3) keratins which accumulate during development to become the major keratins of the adult epidermis (49, 53, 56, and 63 kDa). The embryo-specific keratins are present at all developmental stages prior to metamorphosis which we have investigated, but disappear when the epidermis keratinizes during metamorphosis. Both class 1 and 2 keratins, while undetectable or minor components of the adult skin, are present in the two non-epidermal cell lines. In contrast, the class 3 keratins show little overlap with the keratins of these cell lines. All of the class 3 keratins appear after hatching with the exception of the 53-kDa keratin which is present at the earliest developmental stage which we have examined. All of the major keratins of the adult epidermis accumulate as metamorphosis proceeds, while the embryo-restricted keratins are gradually lost.

PubMed ID: 2416614
Article link: Dev Biol