Caspase-14 shields skin damage
Ghent – Researchers from VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology have found a molecule which shields the skin from damages from UV-B rays and dehydration. They believe that overprotection of Caspase-14 could open up a way to fortify the skin as a barrier against all kinds of stress. When Geertrui Denecker and colleagues knocked out the aspartat protease Caspase-14 in lab mice, they observed increased levels of UV-B-mediated apoptosis in the epidermis as well as an altered structure of its outer surface, the stratum corneum (Nature Cell Biol. 9(6):666-74). Further analyses showed that caspase-14 deficency led to a significant increase of so-called keratohyalin F- granules, a kind of storage vehicle for profilaggrin, a calcium binding protein involved in terminal differentiation of the epidermal cells. Experiments with a recombinant Caspase-14 showed that profilaggrin-processing is impaired in the knock-out mice. This is accompanied by formation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers, leading to UVB-sensitivity.