Immunohistochemical and molecular characterization of cultured keratinocytes after dispase-mediated detachment from the growth substratum.

Experimental dermatology

PubMedID: 10688376

Schaefer BM, Wallich R, Schmolke K, Fink W, Bechtel M, Reinartz J, Kramer MD. Immunohistochemical and molecular characterization of cultured keratinocytes after dispase-mediated detachment from the growth substratum. Exp Dermatol. 2000;9(1):58-64.
Keratinocyte activation comprises changes in protein and gene expression pattern resulting in phenotypic and functional changes necessary for re-epithelialization such as the expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and its cell surface receptor (uPA-R; CD87). As uPA and uPA-R are rapidly induced after dispase-mediated detachment of cultured normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) we hypothesized that dispase-mediated detachment may cause a similar "activation" of keratinocytes with uPA and uPA-R being only one aspect of a complex "activation reaction". To test this hypothesis we have comparatively analysed adherent versus detached keratinocyte sheets for selected indicators of keratinocyte activation by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore we have identified genes via subtraction cloning which are up-regulated upon dispase-induced detachment. The analyses provided evidence for an increased transcriptional and translational activity in detached keratinocytes, as indicated by over-expression of several ribosomal components (L3 and S10 ribosomal protein) and transcription factors (initiation factor 4A, elongation factor 1alpha). Increased proliferative activity was indicated by increased expression of the proliferation markers Ki67, keratin 6 and keratin 17. Finally, several markers of keratinocyte activation such as the integrin chain alpha(v), psoriasin, glutathion-S-transferase and heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor were up-regulated. Furthermore mevalonate kinase, a molecule as yet unknown to be expressed in keratinocytes, was identified. The findings provide evidence that dispase-mediated detachment in cultured keratinocytes induces a reaction, which comprises the up-regulation of a complex array of proliferation- and migration-related molecules. The pattern of which resembles the activation reaction observed in the re-epithelializing keratinocytes in vivo.