Deconstructing the skin: cytoarchitectural determinants of epidermal morphogenesis

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Aug 23;12(9):565-80. doi: 10.1038/nrm3175.


To provide a stable environmental barrier, the epidermis requires an integrated network of cytoskeletal elements and cellular junctions. Nevertheless, the epidermis ranks among the body's most dynamic tissues, continually regenerating itself and responding to cutaneous insults. As keratinocytes journey from the basal compartment towards the cornified layers, they completely reorganize their adhesive junctions and cytoskeleton. These architectural components are more than just rivets and scaffolds - they are active participants in epidermal morphogenesis that regulate epidermal polarization, signalling and barrier formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Epidermis / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Junctions / genetics
  • Intercellular Junctions / metabolism
  • Intercellular Junctions / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Morphogenesis / genetics
  • Morphogenesis / physiology*
  • Skin / cytology*
  • Skin / growth & development*
  • Skin / ultrastructure