Matriptase and prostasin, acting as a tightly coupled proteolytic cascade, were reported to be required for epidermal barrier formation in mouse skin. Here we show that in human skin matriptase and prostasin are expressed with an inverse pattern over the course of differentiation. Matriptase was detected primarily in epidermal basal keratinocytes and the basaloid cells in the outer root sheath of hair follicle and sebaceous gland, where prostasin was not detected. In contrast, prostasin was detected primarily in differentiated cells in the epidermal granular layer, the inner root sheath of hair follicles, and the sebaceous gland, in which areas matriptase expression is negligible. While co-expressed in the middle stage of differentiation, prostasin was detected as polarized patches and matriptase at intercellular junctions. Targeting to different subcellular localizations is also observed in HaCaT human keratinocytes, in which matriptase was detected primarily at intercellular junctions and prostasin primarily on membrane protrusion. Furthermore, upon induction of zymogen activation free active prostasin remains cell-associated and free active matriptase is rapidly shed into the extracellular milieu. Our data suggest that matriptase and prostasin likely function as independent entities in human skin rather than as a tightly coupled proteolytic cascade as observed in mouse skin.
- Received May 23, 2016.
- Accepted August 12, 2016.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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