Beclin1 in psoriasis: an immunohistochemical study

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2021 Jul;46(5):851-860. doi: 10.1111/ced.14554. Epub 2021 Feb 5.


Background: Abnormal autophagy is known to be associated with the pathogenesis of some skin disorders. The protein Beclin1 plays a central role in the machinery of autophagy.

Aim: To assess the expression of Beclin1 in psoriasis, using immunohistochemical study in lesional and perilesional skin in patients with psoriasis, and to compare the results with those of an apparently healthy control (HC) group.

Methods: This case-control study enrolled a total of 40 participants: 20 patients with chronic plaque psoriasis and 20 age- and sex-matched, apparently HCs. Skin biopsies were taken from (i) lesional and (ii) perilesional skin of patients with psoriasis and from (iii) normal skin of HCs for immunohistochemical evaluation of Beclin1 expression.

Results: Epidermal Beclin1 expression was positive in all three studied groups. There was a significant difference between the three studied groups regarding Beclin1 epidermal topographic distribution, epidermal staining intensity, H score and H-score category (P < 0.01 for all). Significant differences were found between the three studied groups regarding Beclin1 H score and H-score category for skin adnexal structures (P < 0.01 for both). For dermal inflammatory infiltrate, significant differences were found between lesional and perilesional skin regarding Beclin1 expression status, staining intensity, H score and H-score category (P < 0.01, P = 0.01, P < 0.01 and P < 0.03, respectively).

Conclusion: The increased expression of Beclin1 in psoriatic skin, both lesional and perilesional, reflects increased autophagy, which could be a consequence of the rapid keratinocyte proliferation in psoriasis, which would also ramp up all the cellular processes including autophagy. The cellular localization of Beclin1 was nucleocytoplasmic in psoriasis skin but cytoplasmic only in normal HC skin, which needs further study to allow its interpretation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autophagy / physiology
  • Beclin-1 / metabolism*
  • Biopsy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Egypt / epidemiology
  • Epidermis / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods*
  • Keratinocytes / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / diagnosis
  • Psoriasis / metabolism*
  • Psoriasis / pathology*
  • Skin / pathology*


  • Beclin-1