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The Human Skin

Decent Essays
Your skin is the body’s first defense mechanism. A barrier against pathogens and water loss, the human epidermis undergoes a constant renewal process called cornification, as old dead skin cells, corneocytes, are shed and replaced by cells from the layers below to maintain constant protection. A defect in the skin barrier could develop various skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis. The most common form of eczema, atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition characterized by inflammation and itchy, dry patches of skin. Although no cause has been determined, researchers focus on studying genetic abnormalities and influences on a defective epidermal barrier (Sajic, Asiniwasis, & Skotnicki-Grant, 2012). Mutations in the filaggrin gene, with environmental factors that further damage the skin’s protective barrier, are one of many aspects contributing to the cracked skin and inflammation of atopic dermatitis.

Filaggrin is an important protein in cornification that contributes to the strength and moisture of the stratum corneum, or topmost layer of the skin, through formation of the cornified envelope and maintenance of the natural moisturizing factor. The precursor to filaggrin is profilaggrin, a protein in keratohyalin-F granules at the granular epidermal layer. As the granular cells transition to the stratum corneum during cornification, serine-activated proteases proteotypically cleave profilaggrin into filaggrin peptides (McLean & Irvine, 2012). The filaggrin then binds to and
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