Chapter

Rise and Fall of Epithelial Phenotype

Part of the series Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit pp 111-134

Cutaneous Wound Reepithelialization

A Partial and Reversible EMT
  • Valérie ArnouxAffiliated withEMI 0229 INSERM: Génotypes et Phénotypes Tumoraux, CRLC Val d’Aurelle-Paul Lamarque
  • , Christophe CômeAffiliated withEMI 0229 INSERM: Génotypes et Phénotypes Tumoraux, CRLC Val d’Aurelle-Paul Lamarque
  • , Donna F. KusewittAffiliated withDepartment of Veterinary Biosciences, The Ohio State University
  • , Laurie G. HudsonAffiliated withUNM Health Sciences Center
  • , Pierre SavagnerAffiliated withGénotypes et Phénotypes Tumoraux INSERM Bâtiment de Recherche en Cancerologie, CRLC Val d’Aurelle-Paul Lamarque

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Abstract

Successful cutaneous wound repair occurs in a series of tightly coordinated and overlapping steps: (1) inflammation and clot formation, (2) keratinocyte activation and migration, (3) remodeling of the basement membrane and extracellular matrix, and (4) dermal and epidermal maturation. During the final three stages of cutaneous wound healing, restoration of an intact epidermis occurs via a complex process termed reepithelialization. In this chapter, we focus on the process of wound reepithelialization, emphasizing the resemblance of reepithelialization to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) occurring during development and tumor progression. Based on the many morphologic and molecular similarities between the two processes, we propose that wound reepithelialization represents a partial and reversible EMT.