The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Cord Brakebusch

Rac1 function in skin development and skin diseases

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Cord Brakebusch
Biotech Research and Innovation Centre (BRIC), University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Rac1 is a small GTPase of the Rho Family which is involved in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton and several other cellular processes. We conditionally inactivated the Rac1 gene in keratinocytes and studied skin development in these mice. Surprisingly, development and maintenance of the interfollicular epidermis was rather normal in the absence of Rac1. Hair follicles, however, showed alterations in morphology and differentiation and were partially removed by transiently infiltrating macrophages. We now show that Rac1 mutant skin is resistant to chemically induced skin tumor formation and highly sensitive to inflammatory stress, corresponding with long-lasting changes in gene expression.

1. Chrostek A, Wu X, Quondamatteo F, Hu R, Sanecka A, Niemann C, Langbein L, Haase I, Brakebusch C. Rac1 is crucial for hair follicle integrity but is not essential for maintenance of the epidermis. Mol Cell Biol. 2006, 26:6957-70.
2. Castilho RM, Squarize CH, Patel V, Millar SE, Zheng Y, Molinolo A, Gutkind JS. Requirement of Rac1 distinguishes follicular from interfollicular epithelial stem cells. Oncogene. 2007, 26:5078-85
3. Benitah SA, Frye M, Glogauer M, Watt FM. Stem cell depletion through epidermal deletion of Rac1. Science. 2005, 309:933-5.

Host: Donald Gullberg <donald.gullberg@biomed.uib.no>, Department of Biomedicine