The expression of microRNA-203 during human skin morphogenesis

Exp Dermatol. 2010 Sep;19(9):854-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2010.01118.x.


MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally and play important roles in various biological processes. We previously identified miR-203 as a skin- and keratinocyte-specific microRNA. Moreover, miR-203 has been implicated in repressing 'stemness' in epidermal progenitors. Here, we investigate the expression of miR-203 and two of its targets, p63 and suppressor of cytokine signalling-3, during human skin morphogenesis. MiR-203 in situ hybridization was performed on sections of human foetal skin ranging from 14 to 22 weeks' gestation and adult skin. MiR-203 was barely detectable at 14 weeks. Its expression became prominent from week 17 and was most pronounced in the suprabasal layers of the epidermis, while p63 and SOCS-3 were preferentially expressed in the basal layer. Differentiation markers such as involucrin and filaggrin were expressed mainly in the suprabasal layers of epidermis, similar to miR-203. Our results support the involvement of miR-203 in skin morphogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Filaggrin Proteins
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Skin / embryology*
  • Skin / metabolism


  • FLG protein, human
  • Filaggrin Proteins
  • MIRN203 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs