Functions of the POU domain genes Skn-1a/i and Tst-1/Oct-6/SCIP in epidermal differentiation

Genes Dev. 1997 Jul 15;11(14):1873-84. doi: 10.1101/gad.11.14.1873.


Here we report on investigation of the role of the POU domain genes Skin-1a/i (Skn-1a/i/Epoc/Oct-11) and Testes-1 (Tst-1/Oct-6/SCIP) in epidermis where proliferating basal keratinocytes withdraw from the cell cycle, migrate suprabasally, and terminally differentiate to form a multilayered, stratified epithelium. The expression of the Skn-1a/i and Tst-1 genes is linked to keratinocyte differentiation in vivo and in vitro, whereas the ubiquitous POU domain factor Oct-1 is expressed highly in both proliferating and post-mitotic keratinocytes. Analysis of Skn-1a/i gene-deleted mice reveals that the Skn-1a/i gene modulates the pattern of expression of the terminal differentiation marker loricrin and inhibits expression of genes encoding markers of the epidermal keratinocyte wounding response. Although epidermis from Tst-1 gene-deleted mice develops normally, epidermis from mice deleted for both Skn-1a/i and Tst-1 is hyperplastic and fails to suppress expression of K14 and Spr-1 in suprabasal cells when transplanted onto athymic mice. This suggests that Skn-1a/i and Tst-1 serve redundant functions in epidermis. Therefore, at least two POU domain genes, Skn-1a/i and Tst-1, serve both distinct and overlapping functions to regulate differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes during normal development and wound healing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Epidermis / growth & development
  • Epidermis / metabolism
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / cytology
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-6
  • POU Domain Factors
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • POU Domain Factors
  • POU3F1 protein, human
  • Pou3f1 protein, mouse
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • loricrin
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-6