Keratin-dependent regulation of Aire and gene expression in skin tumor keratinocytes

Ryan P. Hobbs, Daryle J. Depianto, Justin T. Jacob, Minerva C. Han, Byung Min Chung, Adriana S. Batazzi, Brian G. Poll, Yajuan Guo, Jingnan Han, Sufey Ong, Wenxin Zheng, Janis M. Taube, Daniela Ciháková, Fengyi Wan, Pierre A. Coulombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Expression of the intermediate filament protein keratin 17 (K17) is robustly upregulated in inflammatory skin diseases and in many tumors originating in stratified and pseudostratified epithelia. We report that autoimmune regulator (Aire), a transcriptional regulator, is inducibly expressed in human and mouse tumor keratinocytes in a K17-dependent manner and is required for timely onset of Gli2-induced skin tumorigenesis in mice. The induction of Aire mRNA in keratinocytes depends on a functional interaction between K17 and the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein hnRNP K. Further, K17 colocalizes with Aire protein in the nucleus of tumor-prone keratinocytes, and each factor is bound to a specific promoter region featuring an NF-κ B consensus sequence in a relevant subset of K17-and Aire-dependent proinflammatory genes. These findings provide radically new insight into keratin intermediate filament and Aire function, along with a molecular basis for the K17-dependent amplification of inflammatory and immune responses in diseased epithelia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)933-938
Number of pages6
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 30 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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