• Skin;
  • Kit;
  • Melanocytes;
  • Keratinocytes


KIT proto-oncogene is a receptor tyrosine kinase critical for signal transduction in several cell types. An understanding of KIT distribution in normal skin may reveal new insights into its implication in cutaneous biology and its associated disease states. This study examines expression patterns of KIT protein in normal human skin. KIT protein expression was examined in 50 specimens of normal human skin using specific antibodies (CD117) and immunoperoxidase staining methods. KIT protein expression was seen in keratinocytes (stratum basale), melanocytes, mast cells, and in both sebaceous and sweat glands. In contrast, KIT protein expression was absent in stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum corneum, blood vessels and arrector pili muscle. Thus, the expression of KIT protein in normal human skin suggests its possible role in regulation of cutaneous development and function.