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PloS one

Epidermal transglutaminase (TGase 3) is required for proper hair development, but not the formation of the epidermal barrier.


PMID 22496784

Abstract

Transglutaminases (TGase), a family of cross-linking enzymes present in most cell types, are important in events as diverse as cell-signaling and matrix stabilization. Transglutaminase 1 is crucial in developing the epidermal barrier, however the skin also contains other family members, in particular TGase 3. This isoform is highly expressed in the cornified layer, where it is believed to stabilize the epidermis and its reduction is implicated in psoriasis. To understand the importance of TGase 3 in vivo we have generated and analyzed mice lacking this protein. Surprisingly, these animals display no obvious defect in skin development, no overt changes in barrier function or ability to heal wounds. In contrast, hair lacking TGase 3 is thinner, has major alterations in the cuticle cells and hair protein cross-linking is markedly decreased. Apparently, while TGase 3 is of unique functional importance in hair, in the epidermis loss of TGase 3 can be compensated for by other family members.