The reorganization of microtubules and microfilaments in differentiating keratinocytes

Authors

  • Lindiann Lewis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Northwestern University Medical School, 303 East Chicago Ave Chicago, 1L 60611 USA
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  • Yann Barrandon,

    1. Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Harvard University Medical School, 25 Shattuck Ave, Boston, MA 02115 USA
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  • Howard Green,

    1. Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Harvard University Medical School, 25 Shattuck Ave, Boston, MA 02115 USA
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  • Guenter Albrecht-Buehler

    1. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Northwestern University Medical School, 303 East Chicago Ave Chicago, 1L 60611 USA
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Abstract

Abstract. Using immunofluorescence techniques, we have examined the microtubules and microfilaments in colonies of terminally differentiating human keratinocytes in tissue culture. The undifferentiated keratinocytes contained numerous microtubules, which radiated from a centrosomal organization center (MTOC). Differentiating keratinocytes, which leave the basal layer and begin to synthesize involucrin, displayed an altered cytoskeleton. Thick mats and coils of microtubules formed throughout the cytoplasm of the differentiated squames, and microfilaments were no longer visible after staining with phalloidin. Instead, only scattered stipples of phalloidin-stained material were observed. The results suggest that the terminal differentiation of epidermal cells involves a reorganization not only of the keratin filaments but of the entire cytoskeleton.

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