Regulation of the Glycerol Transporter, Aquaporin-3, by Histone Deacetylase-3 and p53 in Keratinocytes

J Invest Dermatol. 2017 Sep;137(9):1935-1944. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.04.031. Epub 2017 May 16.


Aquaporin- (AQP) 3, a water and glycerol channel, plays an important role in epidermal function, with studies showing its involvement in keratinocyte proliferation, differentiation, and migration and in epidermal wound healing and barrier repair. Increasing speculation about the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors to treat skin diseases led us to investigate HDAC's role in the regulation of AQP3. The broad-spectrum HDAC inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid induced AQP3 mRNA and protein expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner in normal keratinocytes. The SAHA-induced increase in AQP3 levels resulted in enhanced [3H]glycerol uptake in normal but not in AQP3-knockout keratinocytes, confirming that the expressed AQP3 was functional. Use of HDAC inhibitors with different specificities limited our exploration of the responsible HDAC member to HDAC1, HDAC2, or HDAC3. Cre-recombinase-mediated knockdown and overexpression of HDAC3 suggested a role for HDAC3 in suppressing AQP3 expression basally. Further investigation implicated p53 as a transcription factor involved in regulating HDAC inhibitor-induced AQP3 expression. Thus, our study supports the regulation of AQP3 expression by HDAC3 and p53. Because suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid is already approved to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, it could potentially be used as a therapy for skin diseases like psoriasis, where AQP3 is abnormally expressed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Aquaporin 3 / drug effects*
  • Aquaporin 3 / metabolism
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epidermis / metabolism
  • Glycerol / metabolism*
  • Histone Deacetylases / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Aquaporin 3
  • Histone Deacetylases
  • histone deacetylase 3
  • Glycerol