Getting under the skin of epidermal morphogenesis

Nat Rev Genet. 2002 Mar;3(3):199-209. doi: 10.1038/nrg758.


At the surface of the skin, the epidermis serves as the armour for the body. Scientists are now closer than ever to understanding how the epidermis accomplishes this extraordinary feat, and is able to survive and replenish itself under the harshest conditions that face any tissue. By combining genetic engineering with cell-biological studies and with human genome data analyses, skin biologists are discovering the mechanisms that underlie the development and differentiation of the epidermis and hair follicles of the skin. This explosion of knowledge paves the way for new discoveries into the genetic bases of human skin disorders and for developing new therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Epidermis / growth & development*
  • Epidermis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Signal Transduction
  • Skin Diseases / genetics
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases