Type I keratinocyte transglutaminase: expression in human skin and psoriasis. Academic Article uri icon


  • A 92-kD transglutaminase (TGase K), expressed in human cultured keratinocytes and stratum corneum, catalyzes a critical step in the formation of the cornified envelope of terminal differentiation. A rabbit polyclonal antibody to TGase K was used to isolate overlapping cDNA clones from a human keratinocyte cDNA expression library. The cDNA clones were sequenced and unequivocally identified as TGase K by comparison to the N-terminal amino acid sequences of two cyanogen bromide fragments from the purified enzyme. The mRNA for Tgase K is expressed in cultured keratinocytes but not in A431 squamous carcinoma cells, in fibroblasts, or in other non-epithelial tissues and cells. Although TGase K protein expression is limited to the upper layers of normal epidermis, the mRNA is generally present throughout the epidermis, suggesting the possibility of post-transcriptional regulation. Precocious expression of TGase K protein occurs in psoriasis, and quantitative Northern blot analysis of TGase K mRNA from normal and involved epidermal biopsies from psoriasis patients suggests that TGase K mRNA levels are increased in psoriatic lesions. By using quantitative laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) and in situ hybridization, the increase of the TGase K mRNA was in the range of 3-7 times in the psoriatic epidermis and was significantly higher compared with normal skin and with paired adjacent skin. Quantitative LSCM provides a powerful and direct method for analysis of gene expression in skin.

published proceedings

  • J Invest Dermatol

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Schroeder, W. T., Thacher, S. M., Stewart-Galetka, S., Annarella, M., Chema, D., Siciliano, M. J., ... Duvic, M.

citation count

  • 85

complete list of authors

  • Schroeder, WT||Thacher, SM||Stewart-Galetka, S||Annarella, M||Chema, D||Siciliano, MJ||Davies, PJ||Tang, HY||Sowa, BA||Duvic, M

publication date

  • January 1992