C/EBPs are a family of B-Zip transcription factors -TFs- involved in the regulation of differentiation in several tissues. The two most studied members -C/EBPα and C/EBPβ- play important roles in skin homeostasis and their ablation reveals cells with stem cells signatures. Much less is known about C/EBPδ which is highly expressed in the granular layer of interfollicular epidermis and is a direct target of p63, the master regular of multilayered epithelia. We identified C/EBPδ target genes in human primary keratinocytes by ChIP on chip and profiling of cells functionally inactivated with siRNA. Categorization suggests a role in differentiation and control of cell-cycle, particularly of G2/M genes. Among positively controlled targets are numerous genes involved in barrier function. Functional inactivation of C/EBPδ as well as overexpressions of two TF targets -MafB and SOX2- affect expression of markers of keratinocyte differentiation. We performed IHC on skin tumor tissue arrays: expression of C/EBPδ is lost in Basal Cell Carcinomas, but a majority of Squamous Cell Carcinomas showed elevated levels of the protein. Our data indicate that C/EBPδ plays a role in late stages of keratinocyte differentiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)