Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 390, Issue 1–2, pp 289–295 | Cite as

Glucocorticoid receptor enhances involucrin expression of keratinocyte in a ligand-independent manner

  • Hyun Kyung Yoon
  • Zheng Jun Li
  • Dae-Kyoung Choi
  • Kyung-Cheol Sohn
  • Eun-Hwa Lim
  • Young Ho Lee
  • Sooil Kim
  • Myung Im
  • Young Lee
  • Young-Joon Seo
  • Jeung-Hoon Lee
  • Chang Deok KimEmail author


In this study, we investigated the role of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in epidermal keratinocytes. In adult normal human skin, GR was highly expressed in the upper layers of the epidermis. Consistent with normal skin, GR expression was increased after calcium treatment of HaCaT keratinocytes cultured in vitro, suggesting that GR is involved in keratinocyte differentiation process. Overexpression of GR using an adenovirus showed that expression of involucrin, an early differentiation marker of keratinocytes, was markedly increased due to GR overexpression. However, treatment with dexamethasone, a GR agonist, did not increase involucrin expression. Overexpression of GR led to phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) in the absence of glucocorticoid, suggesting that the GR effect on involucrin expression is related to activation of intracellular signaling cascades. This idea was supported by the fact that GR-mediated involucrin induction was abolished after treatment with JNK and ERK inhibitors. In addition, GR mutants lacking the ligand-binding domain increased involucrin expression concomitantly with increase of ERK phosphorylation. Together, these results suggest that GR modulates involucrin expression of keratinocytes by regulating the intracellular signaling network in a ligand-independent manner.


Glucocorticoid receptor Keratinocyte differentiation Intracellular signaling network JNK ERK 



This study was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2010-0023545).

Supplementary material

11010_2014_1985_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (153 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 152 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyun Kyung Yoon
    • 1
  • Zheng Jun Li
    • 1
  • Dae-Kyoung Choi
    • 1
  • Kyung-Cheol Sohn
    • 1
  • Eun-Hwa Lim
    • 1
  • Young Ho Lee
    • 2
  • Sooil Kim
    • 2
  • Myung Im
    • 1
  • Young Lee
    • 1
  • Young-Joon Seo
    • 1
  • Jeung-Hoon Lee
    • 1
  • Chang Deok Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, School of MedicineChungnam National UniversityDaejeonKorea
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineChungnam National UniversityDaejeonKorea

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