Multicellular organisms rely on the epidermal barrier as a critical mechanism supporting their homeostasis in the face of environmental impacts and infection. A fully functioning epidermal barrier demonstrates interlinked structural, immunological, and antimicrobial protection. Keratinocyte differentiation generates a multi-layered live epidermis and dead stratum corneum, which not only provides structural integrity but also provides a framework for innate immune protection, the expression of immunologically active molecules, and recruitment of humoral and cellular immunity when required.
While tremendous progress has been made in recent years, much still remains unknown regarding keratinocyte biology and how epidermal keratinocytes control skin immunity at a molecular level. Identification and functional characterization of additional proteins that not only govern keratinocyte differentiation, stratification, and cornification but also support the immunological barrier of the epidermis are critically needed in order to develop new diagnostic targets and propose therapeutic strategies for patients with skin diseases.
The goal of this Research Topic is to bring together the latest state-of-the-art advances and insights into the role of proteins involved in the biology of the epidermis, with a special emphasis on their role in supporting both the immunological and physical aspects of the skin barrier. This includes any of the roles that these proteins may exert in homeostasis from the level of a single cell up to the entire organism. The Topic provides a platform to present novel findings combining the expertise of cell biologists, immunologists, microbiologists, and dermatologists interested in the skin and the epidermal barrier from either basic science or more clinical perspective.
This Research Topic will address the molecular dynamics of the epidermis and its roles within immunity. We welcome original research articles, reviews, mini-reviews, and method articles including (but not limited to) the following topics:
• Novel molecular mechanisms that maintain the immunological, structural, and antimicrobial aspects of the skin barrier
• Novel functional links between the structural and immunological barrier in the epidermis;
• Novel immunological functions of previously known epidermal proteins;
• Novel functions of innate and humoral immune modulators expressed during keratinocyte differentiation;
• Potential epidermal diagnostic and therapeutic targets in skin disease.
• Novel mechanistic and evolutionary viewpoints on epidermal immune and structural barrier function from model organisms
Dr. John Common receives funding from C&C Research Laboratories, P&G Company, Firmenich, and LVMH. All other editors declare no conflicts of interest.