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The human cystatin M/E gene (CST6): exclusion candidate gene for harlequin ichthyosis.

By P.L.J.M. Zeeuwen, B.A. Dale, G.J. de Jongh, I.M.J.J. van Vlijmen-Willems, P. Fleckman, J.R. Kimball, K. Stephens and J. Schalkwijk


Cystatin M/E is a recently discovered cysteine proteinase inhibitor whose expression is largely confined to cutaneous epithelia. In human skin it is expressed in sweat glands, hair follicles, and stratum granulosum of the epidermis where it presumably acts as a substrate for transglutaminase. Very recently we reported that a null mutation in the mouse cystatin M/E gene (Cst6) causes the murine ichq phenotype, which is characterized by abnormalities in cornification and desquamation, demonstrating an essential role for cystatin M/E in the final stages of epidermal differentiation. We here obtained the complete sequence of the human cystatin M/E gene (CST6), which provides a tool to investigate CST6 as a candidate gene in skin diseases characterized by abnormal cornification. The involvement of CST6 in harlequin ichthyosis in humans was evaluated by sequencing the entire coding region and intron-exon boundaries for mutations in 11 sporadic harlequin ichthyosis patients. No CST6 mutations were detected in this group, which comprised type 1 and type 2 harlequin ichthyosis patients. Disturbed transcription/translation due to mutations in regulatory and noncoding regions of cystatin M/E was unlikely because cystatin M/E protein expression was observed in all patients examined, as assessed by immunohistochemistry. Although our results indicate that CST6 is not a major gene contributing to type 1 and 2 harlequin ichthyosis, these data may facilitate further analysis of the role of cystatin M/E in normal human skin and other genetic disorders of cornification

Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2003.12312.x
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Provided by: NARCIS
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