The reorganization of microtubules and microfilaments in differentiating keratinocytes

Lindiann Lewis*, Yann Barrandon, Howard Green, Guenter Albrecht-Buehler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Using immunofluorescence techniques, we have examined the microtubules and microfilaments in colonies of terminally differentiating human keratinocytes in tissue culture. The undifferentiated keratinocytes contained numerous microtubules, which radiated from a centrosomal organization center (MTOC). Differentiating keratinocytes, which leave the basal layer and begin to synthesize involucrin, displayed an altered cytoskeleton. Thick mats and coils of microtubules formed throughout the cytoplasm of the differentiated squames, and microfilaments were no longer visible after staining with phalloidin. Instead, only scattered stipples of phalloidin-stained material were observed. The results suggest that the terminal differentiation of epidermal cells involves a reorganization not only of the keratin filaments but of the entire cytoskeleton.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-233
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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