The outermost layer of the skin—the epidermis—is broadly divided into the proliferating basal fraction and the differentiated suprabasal fraction. Skin cells within the epidermis maintain a balance between division and differentiation through distinct morphologic stratification and temporospatial gene expression. The authors of this study used a multifaceted approach to generate datasets that may provide details of the complex epigenomic landscape of epidermal differentiation. They also revealed unique roles for Dlx3, a crucial regulator of hair follicle differentiation and cycling, and the proteins it targets in the regulation of skin development.

What is exciting about this article?

This study generated a comprehensive topographic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic analysis of the skin epidermis through a profile of proliferating basal cells and differentiated suprabasal cells from murine epidermis. The findings represent an epigenomic map of epidermal differentiation during skin development, an invaluable resource for future studies.

How does this fit into the larger NIAMS portfolio?

Results from this study aid in the understanding of cellular differentiation in the skin epidermis at the genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptional levels. It may also offer an opportunity to further understand chromatin dysregulation in the context of skin diseases.

Grant support


Research Areas:

Cancer Biology Developmental Biology Genetics and Genomics Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Skin Biology


Chromatin Landscape Governing Murine Epidermal Differentiation.

Nayak S, Jiang K, Hope E, Cross M, Overmiller A, Naz F, Worrell S, Bajpai D, Hasneen K, Brooks SR, Dell'Orso S, Morasso MI
J Invest Dermatol.
2023 Jul;
doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2022.12.020
PMID: 36708949

Research reported in this publication was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIHʼs National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.