A linkurl:microRNA;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/25713/ mechanism may lie at the heart of why some skin cell growth goes unchecked, according to a paper published linkurl:today; in Nature. The authors found that one microRNA regulates the differentiation of progenitor skin cells into the stratified outer layers of the skin. linkurl:Elaine Fuchs,;http://www.rockefeller.edu/labheads/fuchs/intro.php from Rockefeller University, led the study and tracked the expression of each skin-associated microRNA from the early stages of embryonic development when the epidermis is forming, until the epidermis is completely formed. The researchers showed that microRNA-203 (miR-203) is expressed only in terminally differentiated cells, and that it downregulates a master regulator gene, p63, which maintains pluripotency in skin stem cells. By suppressing p63, miR-203 allows those pluripotent cells to differentiate into the stratified layers that make up the skin. The group also showed that evolutionarily, all land-dwelling vertebrates show a similar expression pattern of miR-203 and targeting of p63. "If miR-203...
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