Regulation of involucrin gene expression

Richard L. Eckert*, James F. Crish, Tatiana Efimova, Shervin R. Dashti, Anne Deucher, Frederic Bone, Gautam Adhikary, Guosheng Huang, Ramamurthy Gopalakrishnan, Sivaprakasam Balasubramanian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


The epidermis is a dynamic renewing structure that provides life-sustaining protection from the environment. The major cell type of the epidermis, the epidermal keratinocyte, undergoes a carefully choreographed program of differentiation. Alteration of these events results in a variety of debilitating and life-threatening diseases. Understanding how this process is regulated is an important current goal in biology. In this review, we summarize the literature regarding regulation of involucrin, an important marker gene that serves as a model for understanding the mechanisms that regulate the differentiation process. Current knowledge describing the role of transcription factors and signaling cascades in regulating involucrin gene expression are presented. These studies describe a signaling cascade that includes the novel protein kinase C isoforms, Ras, MEKK1, MEK3, and a p38δ-extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 complex. This cascade regulates activator protein one, Sp1, and CCATT/enhancer-binding protein transcription factor DNA binding to two discrete involucrin promoter regions, the distal- and proximal-regulatory regions, to regulate involucrin gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • AP1
  • C
  • Differentiation
  • EBP
  • ERK
  • Gene expression
  • Keratinocyte
  • MAPK
  • Protein kinase C
  • p38

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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