Keratin intermediate filaments are the major components of the cytoskeleton in epithelial cells. Mutations in keratin genes have been documented in many disorders of the skin, nails, hair, and mucous membranes. Although no mutations have been described in either keratin 15 or keratin 19, they are good candidates for other as yet uncharacterized genetic disorders of keratinization, particularly as the skin, nails, hair, and conjunctiva are sites of keratin 15 and 19 expression. To facilitate future mutation detection analyses, we have therefore characterized the intron-exon organization of the human keratin 15 and keratin 19 genes. The keratin 15 gene comprises 8 exons spanning approximately 5.1 kb on 17q21, and the keratin 19 gene consists of 6 exons covering approximately 4.7 kb on 17q21. We have also developed a PCR-based mutation detection strategy using primers placed on flanking introns followed by direct sequencing of the PCR products.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.