The expression of microRNA-203 during human skin morphogenesis


Tianling Wei, MD, Molecular Dermatology Research Group, Unit of Dermatology and Venerology, Department of Medicine, Center for Molecular Medicine, L8:02, Karolinska Institutet, SE-17176 Stockholm, Sweden, Tel.: +46 8 517 72158, Fax: +46 8 517 70340, e-mail:


Please cite this paper as: The expression of microRNA-203 during human skin morphogenesis. Experimental Dermatology 2010; 19: 854–856.

Abstract:  MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally and play important roles in various biological processes. We previously identified miR-203 as a skin- and keratinocyte-specific microRNA. Moreover, miR-203 has been implicated in repressing ‘stemness’ in epidermal progenitors. Here, we investigate the expression of miR-203 and two of its targets, p63 and suppressor of cytokine signalling-3, during human skin morphogenesis. MiR-203 in situ hybridization was performed on sections of human foetal skin ranging from 14 to 22 weeks’ gestation and adult skin. MiR-203 was barely detectable at 14 weeks. Its expression became prominent from week 17 and was most pronounced in the suprabasal layers of the epidermis, while p63 and SOCS-3 were preferentially expressed in the basal layer. Differentiation markers such as involucrin and filaggrin were expressed mainly in the suprabasal layers of epidermis, similar to miR-203. Our results support the involvement of miR-203 in skin morphogenesis.