Human hair keratin-associated proteins (KAPs)

Int Rev Cytol. 2006;251:209-63. doi: 10.1016/S0074-7696(06)51006-X.


Elucidation of the genes encoding structural proteins of the human hair follicle has advanced rapidly during the last decade, complementing nearly three previous decades of research on this subject in other species. Primary among these advances was both the characterization of human hair keratins, as well as the hair keratin associated proteins (KAPs). This review describes the currently known human KAP families, their genomic organization, and their characteristics of expression. Furthermore, this report delves into further aspects, such as polymorphic variations in human KAP genes, the role that KAP proteins might play in hereditary hair diseases, as well as their modulation in several different transgenic mouse models displaying hair abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hair / chemistry
  • Hair / physiology*
  • Hair / ultrastructure
  • Hair Diseases / genetics
  • Hair Diseases / physiopathology
  • Hair Follicle / cytology
  • Hair Follicle / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Keratins / classification
  • Keratins / genetics
  • Keratins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sulfur / chemistry


  • Keratins
  • Sulfur