Keratinocyte survival, differentiation, and death: Many roads lead to mitogen-activated protein kinase

Richard L. Eckert*, Tatiana Efimova, Shervin R. Dashti, Sivaprakasam Balasubramanian, Anne Deucher, James F. Crish, Michael Sturniolo, Frederic Bone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


The epidermis is a dynamic and continually renewing surface that provides and maintains a life-sustaining interface with the environment. The epidermal keratinocyte, the major cell type of the epidermis, undergoes a complex and carefully choreographed program of differentiation. This process requires a balance between keratinocyte proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. This overview will concentrate on cascades that regulate the balance between keratinocyte cell proliferation and survival, and apoptosis and cell differentiation, with a particular emphasis on the role of the mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades. A summary of the literature suggests that extracellular regulated kinases function to promote keratinocyte proliferation and survival, whereas p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase functions to promote differentiation and apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2002


  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase
  • Epidermis
  • Gene expression
  • Keratinocyte differentiation
  • MAPK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Cell Biology


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