S100 proteins in the epidermis

J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Jul;123(1):23-33. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-202X.2004.22719.x.


The S100 proteins comprise a family of 21 low molecular weight (9-13 kDa) proteins that are characterized by the presence of two calcium-binding EF-hand motifs. Fourteen S100 protein genes are located within the epidermal differentiation complex on human chromosome 1q21 and 13 S100 proteins (S100A2, S100A3, S100A4, S100A6, S100A7, S100A8, S100A9, S100A10, S100A11, S100A12, S100A15, S100B, and S100P) are expressed in normal and/or diseased epidermis. S100 proteins exist in cells as anti-parallel hetero- and homodimers and upon calcium binding interact with target proteins to regulate cell function. S100 proteins are of interest as mediators of calcium-associated signal transduction and undergo changes in subcellular distribution in response to extracellular stimuli. They also function as chemotactic agents and may play a role in the pathogenesis of epidermal disease, as selected S100 proteins are markedly overexpressed in psoriasis, wound healing, skin cancer, inflammation, cellular stress, and other epidermal states.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epidermis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • S100 Proteins / physiology*


  • S100 Proteins