CD271 mediates stem cells to early progeny transition in human epidermis

Francesca Truzzi, Annalisa Saltari, Elisabetta Palazzo, Roberta Lotti, Tiziana Petrachi, Katiuscia Dallaglio, Claudia Gemelli, Giulia Grisendi, Massimo Dominici, Carlo Pincelli, Alessandra Marconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CD271 is the low-affinity neurotrophin (p75NTR) receptor that belongs to the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily. Because in human epidermis, CD271 is predominantly expressed in transit-amplifying (TA) cells, we evaluated the role of this receptor in keratinocyte differentiation and in the transition from keratinocyte stem cells (KSCs) to progeny. Calcium induced an upregulation of CD271 in subconfluent keratinocytes, which was prevented by CD271 small interfering RNA. Furthermore, CD271 overexpression provoked the switch of KSCs to TA cells, whereas silencing CD271 induced TA cells to revert to a KSC phenotype, as shown by the expression of β 1 -integrin and by the increased clonogenic ability. CD271 + keratinocytes sorted from freshly isolated TA cells expressed more survivin and keratin 15 (K15) compared with CD271 - cells and displayed a higher proliferative capacity. Early differentiation markers and K15 were more expressed in the skin equivalent generated from CD271 + TA than from those derived from CD271 - TA cells. By contrast, late differentiation markers were more expressed in skin equivalents from CD271 - than in reconstructs from CD271 + TA cells. Finally, skin equivalents originated from CD271 - TA cells displayed a psoriatic phenotype. These results indicate that CD271 is critical for keratinocyte differentiation and regulates the transition from KSCs to TA cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-795
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 12 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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