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De Novo hair follicle morphogenesis and hair tumors in mice expressing a truncated beta-catenin in skin.

An effector of intercellular adhesion, beta-catenin also functions in Wnt signaling, associating with Lef-1/Tcf DNA-binding proteins to form a transcription factor. We report that this pathway operates in keratinocytes and that mice expressing a stabilized beta-catenin controlled by an epidermal promoter undergo a process resembling de novo hair morphogenesis. The new follicles formed sebaceous glands and dermal papilla, normally established only in embryogenesis. As in embryologically initiated hair germs, transgenic follicles induce Lef-1, but follicles are disoriented and defective in sonic hedgehog polarization. Additionally, proliferation continues unchecked, resulting in two types of tumors also found in humans. Our findings suggest that transient beta-catenin stabilization may be a key player in the long-sought epidermal signal leading to hair development and implicate aberrant beta-catenin activation in hair tumors.

Pubmed ID: 9845363


  • Gat U
  • DasGupta R
  • Degenstein L
  • Fuchs E



Publication Data

November 25, 1998

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIDCR NIH HHS, Id: 5P50-DE11921
  • Agency: NIAMS NIH HHS, Id: AR31737

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Epidermis
  • Hair Follicle
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Keratinocytes
  • Lymphoid Enhancer-Binding Factor 1
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Morphogenesis
  • Pilomatrixoma
  • Proteins
  • Skin
  • Skin Neoplasms
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • beta Catenin