Author(s): Dale BA, Salonen J, Jones AH
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Abstract Epithelial structural proteins, the keratins and keratin-associated proteins, are useful as markers of differentiation because their expression is both region-specific and differentiation-specific. In general, basal cells in all stratified oral epithelia express similar keratins, while the suprabasal cells express a specific set of markers indicating commitment to a distinct program of differentiation. Critical factors in the regulation of epithelial protein expression are now under investigation. The promoter regions of keratin genes are being characterized to determine what sequences within the genes are responsible for differential expression. One important extracellular factor that influences epithelial protein expression is retinol (vitamin A), which exerts its effects via a group of nuclear receptor proteins that may also be expressed in a region-specific manner. These molecular biological approaches enhance our understanding of the mechanisms regulating differentiation of oral epithelia and its regional complexity.
This article was published in Crit Rev Oral Biol Med
and referenced in Journal of Medical Diagnostic Methods