Phenotypic suppression of acral peeling skin syndrome in a patient with autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis

Exp Dermatol. 2020 Aug;29(8):742-748. doi: 10.1111/exd.14140. Epub 2020 Jul 20.


Autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis (ARCI) manifests with generalized scaling often associated with generalized erythema. Mutations in at least 13 different genes have been reported to cause ARCI. Acral peeling skin syndrome (APSS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder manifesting with peeling over the distal limbs and dorsal surfaces of hands and feet. APSS is mostly due to mutations in TGM5, encoding transglutaminase 5. Both ARCI and APSS are fully penetrant genetic traits. Here, we describe a consanguineous family in which one patient with mild ARCI was found to carry a homozygous mutation in ALOXE3 (c.1238G > A; p.Gly413Asp). The patient was also found to carry a known pathogenic homozygous mutation in TGM5 (c.1335G > C; p.Lys445Asn) but did not display acral peeling skin. Her uncle carried the same homozygous mutation in TGM5 but carried the ALOXE3 mutation in a heterozygous state and showed clinical features typical of APSS. Taken collectively, these observations suggested that the ALOXE3 mutation suppresses the clinical expression of the TGM5 variant. We hypothesized that ALOXE3 deficiency may affect the expression of a protein capable of compensating for the lack of TGM5 expression. Downregulation of ALOXE3 in primary human keratinocytes resulted in increased levels of corneodesmosin, which plays a critical role in the maintenance of cell-cell adhesion in the upper epidermal layers. Accordingly, ectopic corneodesmosin expression rescued the cell-cell adhesion defect caused by TGM5 deficiency in keratinocytes as ascertained by the dispase dissociation assay. The present data thus provide evidence for phenotypic suppression in a human hereditary skin disorder.

Keywords: ALOXE3; acral peeling skin syndrome; autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis; corneodesmosin; ichthyosis; transglutaminase 5.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion / genetics*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Dermatitis, Exfoliative / complications
  • Dermatitis, Exfoliative / genetics*
  • Epidermal Cells / physiology
  • Exome Sequencing
  • Female
  • Foot Dermatoses / genetics
  • Hand Dermatoses / genetics
  • Heterozygote
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Ichthyosis, Lamellar / complications
  • Ichthyosis, Lamellar / genetics*
  • Lipoxygenase / genetics*
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Skin Diseases, Genetic / complications
  • Skin Diseases, Genetic / genetics*
  • Transglutaminases / genetics*


  • ALOXE3 protein, human
  • Lipoxygenase
  • transglutaminase 5
  • Transglutaminases

Supplementary concepts

  • Peeling Skin Syndrome