Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease, characterized by an enhanced proliferation and a deregulated differentiation of keratinocytes. hMena is an actin regulatory protein involved in the control of cell motility and adhesion. hMena results up-modulated in several human tumors with respect to normal tissues and its expression has been positively correlated to proliferation rate, tumor size and aggressiveness in response to mitogenic stimuli, such as epidermal growth factor. The hyperproliferation of keratinocytes observed in psoriasis prompted us to evaluate hMena expression on biopsies collected from involved and uninvolved skin of 12 patients with active plaque-type psoriasis with respect to healthy skin. We analyzed the expression of hMena at transcript and protein levels by quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. We correlated the expression of hMena to Ki67 proliferation index and to keratin 10 (K10) and keratin 16 (K16) used as markers of keratinocyte differentiation and activation. We demonstrated the expression of hMena in a hyperproliferative skin condition not related to neoplastic transformation. Interestingly, we observed that hMena is not expressed in healthy skin, but it becomes detectable in non-lesional areas and it is even more expressed in lesional psoriatic skin. In addition, we found that hMena expression is correlated to the rate of keratinocyte proliferation and activation. Hence, our observations indicate hMena as a new possible player, involved in the development and/or maintenance of the hyperproliferative state of psoriatic keratinocytes.
- Cell proliferation
ASJC Scopus subject areas