Formation and functions of the corneocyte lipid envelope (CLE)

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Mar;1841(3):314-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2013.09.011. Epub 2013 Sep 27.


Corneocytes in mammalian stratum corneum are surrounded by a monolayer of covalently bound ω-OH-ceramides that form the corneocyte (-bound) lipid envelope (CLE). We review here the structure, composition, and possible functions of this structure, with insights provided by inherited and acquired disorders of lipid metabolism. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled The Important Role of Lipids in the Epidermis and their Role in the Formation and Maintenance of the Cutaneous Barrier. Guest Editors: Kenneth R. Feingold and Peter Elias.

Keywords: Acylceramide; Corneocyte lipid envelope; Essential fatty acid deficiency; Gaucher's disease; Neutral lipid storage disease; Refsum disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Lipids*


  • Lipids