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Psoriasin (S100A7) is significantly up-regulated in human epithelial skin tumours

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Psoriasin (S100A7) has originally been described to be expressed by psoriatic keratinocytes possibly as a result of altered differentiation and inflammation. As psoriasin was found to be overexpressed in human breast and bladder cancer suggesting a role in tumour progression, we investigated the expression of psoriasin in human epithelial skin tumours.


Realtime reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction experiments were performed to analyse the mRNA-expression levels of psoriasin together with involucrin as a marker for epithelial differentiation and interleukin-8 (IL-8) as a marker for inflammation in skin biopsy samples from patients with precancerous skin lesions (PSL, n = 6), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC, n = 11), basal cell carcinoma (BCC, n = 17), and healthy controls (n = 10).


Unexpectedly, mRNA expression levels for Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) revealed a variation of up to 600-fold in all cDNA-samples under investigation, indicating that GAPDH is not suitable as a housekeeping gene in human skin samples. Psoriasin mRNA expression was significantly up-regulated in samples of PSL, SCC and BCC. In situ hybridisation and immunohistochemical examinations identified psoriasin mRNA and protein expression in the differentiated layers of the epidermis. IL-8 mRNA expression was significantly up-regulated in SCC, however, there was no correlation between elevated levels of psoriasin and the expression of IL-8.


Similar to the findings in breast and bladder cancer, the up-regulation of psoriasin might play a role in the progression of skin cancer. The expression of psoriasin in human skin tumours seems to be independent from differentiation and inflammation.

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The authors thank K. Klose (Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Kiel) for excellent technical assistance, the cutaneous surgery unit (Department of Dermatology, Kiel, and Praxis Dr. Dr. E. Paulke, Friedrichsort) for obtaining the skin biopsies and P. Velasco (Department of Dermatology, Kiel) for helpful discussions. This work was supported by the Schleswig-Holsteinische Krebsgesellschaft and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 617).

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Correspondence to Regine Gläser.

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Moubayed, N., Weichenthal, M., Harder, J. et al. Psoriasin (S100A7) is significantly up-regulated in human epithelial skin tumours. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 133, 253–261 (2007).

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