The skin epidermis is a constantly renewing stratified epithelium that provides essential protective barrier functions throughout life. Epidermal stratification is governed by a step-wise differentiation program that requires precise spatiotemporal control of gene expression. How epidermal self-renewal and differentiation are regulated remains a fundamental open question. Cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic mechanisms that modify chromatin structure and interactions have been identified as key regulators of epidermal differentiation and stratification. Here, we will review the recent advances in our understanding of how chromatin modifiers, tissue-specific transcription factors, and force-induced nuclear remodeling processes function to shape chromatin and to control epidermal tissue development and homeostasis.
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