Nephrin expression in human epidermal keratinocytes and its implication in poor wound closure

Ji Young Kim, Eun Jung Lee, Jimyung Seo, Yangsin Lee, Yuri Ahn, Sujin Park, Yu Jeong Bae, Jinu Lee, Beom Jin Lim, Doyoung Kim, Jin Won Cho, Sang Ho Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nephrin is a type-1 transmembrane protein and a component of the slit diaphragm renal-filtration barrier. It has several functions in actin remodeling and cell–cell adhesion. Nephrin is principally located in the kidney glomerulus, but several studies have reported that nephrin is found in the pancreas, brain, and placenta. However, nephrin expression and its role in human skin have not yet been reported. First, using single-cell RNA sequencing, immunohistochemistry, and immuno-electron microscopy, nephrin expression was confirmed in human-skin epidermal keratinocytes. Nephrin expression colocalized with the expression of zonula occludens-1 in keratinocytes and was closely related to keratinocyte cell density, proliferation, and migration. High glucose treatment decreased nephrin expression and compromised keratinocyte cell migration without yes-associated protein nuclear entry. This reduced cell migration under high glucose conditions was improved in nephrin-overexpressing keratinocytes. Nephrin was highly expressed on the margins of re-epithelized epidermis based on in vivo mice and ex vivo human skin wound models. The results demonstrate that nephrin is expressed in human-skin keratinocytes and functions in cell adhesion, proliferation, and migration. In conclusion, this study suggests that nephrin may have a variety of physiological roles in human skin.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22424
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Skin tissue sections from db/db and C57BL/6 mice were kindly provided by Professor Jin Woo Lee and Professor Tae-Gyun Kim at Yonsei University College of Medicine. This study was supported by a Stiefel Research Grant from the Korean Dermatological Association in 2019 and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2019R1A2C4069490). In addition, this study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea grant funded by the Korean government (The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning) (NRF-2016R1A5A1010764) to J.W.C. Also, this study was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HP20C0019).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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