Epithelial carcinomas are well known to activate a prolonged wound-healing program that promotes malignant transformation. Wound closure requires the activation of keratinocyte migration via a dual-state molecular switch. This switch involves production of either the anti-migratory microRNA miR-198 or the pro-migratory follistatin-like 1 (FSTL1) protein from a single transcript; miR-198 expression in healthy skin is down-regulated in favor of FSTL1 upon wounding, which enhances keratinocyte migration and promotes re-epithelialization.
The terminal domains of suprabasal keratins of the skin epithelium are very resistant to evidence-based structural analysis because of their inherent flexibility and lack of predictable structure. We present a model for the structure and interactions of the head and tail domains of epidermal keratins 1 and 10, based on all-atom 3D simulations of keratin primary amino acid sequences, and tyrosine phosphorylation predictions, extracted from published databases.