The barrier function of skin: How to keep a tight lid on water loss

Daisuke Tsuruta*, Kathleen J. Green, Spiro Getsios, Jonathan C R Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Without an epidermis, we would be in a sorry state. The epidermal layer not only protects us from environmental pathogens but also acts as a 'barrier' to water loss. The identification of the molecular nature of the barrier has occupied the efforts of skin researchers over many years, with the consensus in the field being that a protein-lipid layer, located in the upper layers of the epidermis, is necessary for establishment and maintenance of a water barrier. Now, evidence has been presented that components of intercellular junctions, termed tight junctions, also play an essential role in development of barrier function in the skin. Remarkably, the data support a hypothesis that was presented more than 30 years ago.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-357
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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