Stratification and Differentiation

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Save to Library. Create Alert. Share This Paper. Figures and Topics from this paper. Citations Publications citing this paper. Asymmetric cell division of stem cells in the lung and other systems Mohamed Berika , Marwa E. Epidermal polarity genes in health and disease. NuMA localization, stability, and function in spindle orientation involve 4. Poulson , Henry P. Rnd proteins emerged late in evolution chordates , suggesting more specialized functions than the ancient members Rho, Rac, and Cdc42 Boureux et al. Overexpression of exogenous RhoE regulates cell proliferation, actin cytoskeleton, and migration and transiently promotes cell rounding Guasch et al.

However, whether these distinct functions reflect a response to different stimuli or cell type specificity is unclear. Calcium-induced keratinocyte differentiation and stratification assembly of multiple layers is a tightly regulated, multistep process.

What is stratification?

Commitment to differentiation and withdrawal from the cell cycle precedes the expression of differentiation markers and detachment from the substratum to assemble suprabasal layers Watt, ; Fuchs, In the absence of calcium ions, initiation of differentiation occurs, but keratinocytes are unable to stratify because of the absence of cell—cell contacts.

Thus, the keratinocyte differentiation program has highly coordinated but separable steps, most likely regulated by distinct events. We demonstrate a transient increase in RhoE protein expression that temporally correlates with keratinocyte stratification. RhoE up-regulation occurs primarily in small, undifferentiated cells present in the basal layer, where the decision to stratify takes place.

Interestingly, the functional consequence of RhoE overexpression in keratinocytes is an increase in stratification potential, as assessed by higher numbers of stratifying cells and enlargement of cell size, which is indicative of terminal differentiation. Indeed, after RhoE depletion no significant changes are observed in cell size or stratification within the time frame investigated.

Our data imply that RhoE is required for de novo commitment to stratification and has no effect on keratinocytes that have already initiated the differentiation program. The striking effects of RhoE expression on stratification provide insight into its potential mechanism of action.

What is stratification? | Sociology | tutor2u

Stratification occurs after detachment of cells committed to differentiate from the basement membrane. This process requires modulation of integrin binding affinity and a decrease in integrin mRNA and protein levels Watt, These results suggest that RhoE may regulate inside-out signals that modulate integrin function, a previously unreported role. Our results are consistent with the reduction in integrin adhesion that occurs after 2—4 h of induction of cell—cell contacts Hodivala and Watt, and the rounding up caused by RhoE overexpression in fibroblasts Guasch et al.

However, in keratinocytes the net effect of substratum detachment is increased stratification, rather than rounding up. We speculate that because cadherin-mediated contacts are not perturbed by RhoE RNAi, detached keratinocytes can instead assemble suprabasal layers by adhering to and climbing on top of neighboring cells. Both phenotypes are consistent with the up-regulation of RhoE in basal cells, the pool in which proliferation and initiation of differentiation occur Watt et al.

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Our interpretation is that the RhoE depletion-induced hyperproliferation and associated increase in the undifferentiated pool of keratinocytes have a knockon effect on differentiation as a secondary event less keratinocytes starting the differentiation program. These results are supported by two lines of evidence: 1 RhoE overexpression induces cell cycle arrest in other cell types Villalonga et al.

Together, our data suggest that the transient RhoE up-regulation in keratinocytes inhibits cell cycle progression and facilitates entry into the keratinocyte differentiation program, including stratification and enlargement of cell size. Although we have identified the cellular processes that RhoE regulates during keratinocyte differentiation, the molecular mechanisms whereby RhoE is up-regulated remain to be identified. We show that elevated RhoE protein levels is not due to calcium signaling, but rather an adhesive event induced by clustering of cadherin and integrin receptors.

Social Status and Differentiation

Our data can be interpreted in two ways. Thus, our data strongly support the latter interpretation. RhoE expression is sufficient to increase stratification potential. However, we have been unable to formally demonstrate that ROCKI function is required for stratification due to technical issues and difficulties in interpreting multiple ROCK1 effects e.

RhoE also may have distinct functions from ROCKI in keratinocytes, as shown by the identification of RhoE-specific targets that do not interact with RhoA Chardin, and experiments using bacterial toxins Sugai et al. The involvement of ROCKI and RhoE in the keratinocyte differentiation program is novel and further supports the importance of Rho small GTPase-dependent signaling pathways for determination of the epidermal phenotype Sugai et al.

Interestingly, ROCKII activation has been implicated in inhibition of keratinocyte proliferation and expression of differentiation markers using a suspension-induced differentiation model McMullan et al. The latter model excludes adhesive and stratification events and thus is not directly comparable with the calcium-induced differentiation model used in our study. The effects of RhoE siRNA on keratinocyte proliferation and stratification are clearly different from the effects caused by depletion of other small GTPases.

For example, Rac1 siRNA in keratinocytes in vitro increases expression of differentiation markers without interfering with proliferation levels Nikolova et al. Epidermis-specific Rac1 Benitah et al. Yet, Rac knockdown does not perturb the maintenance of interfollicular epidermis in some cases Chrostek et al. Together, these results indicate that the phenotype reported here is unique for RhoE depletion. In conclusion, our data strongly support a role for RhoE in epidermal morphogenesis: RhoE up-regulation decreases keratinocyte proliferation, reduces integrin attachment, promotes cell enlargement, and increases stratification.

Thus, RhoE initiates a broad signaling program to regulate keratinocyte differentiation and a previously unreported coordination of these cellular processes. For example, overexpression of RhoE in simple epithelial cells such as Madin-Darby canine kidney induces multilayering Hansen et al. We propose that RhoE is a key switch of the morphogenetic program leading from simple to stratified epithelia. Thus, it is tempting to speculate that activation of RhoE may be essential for the regulatory events that lead to multilayering during disease and differentiation of stratified epithelia.

E on October 15, We thank Prof Fiona Watt for helpful discussions and all researchers for the gifts of reagents mentioned in Materials and Methods. Molecular Biology of the Cell Vol. This is the final version - click for previous version. Vania M. Add to favorites Download Citations Track Citations. Abstract The molecular mechanism via which keratinocyte differentiation assembles multiple layers of cells stratification is poorly understood. Stem cell depletion through epidermal deletion of Rac1. Science , Evolution of the Rho family of ras-like GTPases in eukaryotes. Evol 24 , The challenges of abundance: epithelial junctions and small GTPase signalling.

Cell Biol 17 , Calcium-induced changes in distribution and solubility of cadherins and their associated cytoplasmic proteins in human keratinocytes.

Cell Adhes. Comm 3 , The small GTPases Rho and Rac are required for the establishment of cadherin-dependent cell-cell contacts.


Cell Biol , Cell Biol 8 , Requirement of Rac1 distinguishes follicular from interfollicular epithelial stem cells. Oncogene 26 , Function and regulation of Rnd proteins.

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Nature Rev. Cell Biol 7 , Rac1 is crucial for hair follicle integrity but is not essential for maintenance of the epidermis.

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Cell Biol 26 , Scratching the surface of skin development. Nature , Desmosomal cadherins. Cell Biol 14 , USA , RhoE regulates actin cytoskeleton organization and cell migration. Cell Biol 18 , Induced expression of Rnd3 is associated with transformation of polarized epithelial cells by the Raf-MEK-extracellular-signal-regulated kinase pathway.

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Cell Biol 20 , Inhibition of cadherin function differentially affects markers of terminal differentiation in cultured human keratinocytes. Cell Sci , Evidence that cadherins play a role in the downregulation of integrin expression that occurs during keratinocyte terminal differentiation.