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Phosphorylation of Pkp1 by RIPK4 regulates epidermal differentiation and skin tumorigenesis

22:11 EDT 3 Jul 2017 | Nature Publishing

Tissue homeostasis of skin is sustained by epidermal progenitor cells localized within the basal layer of the skin epithelium. Post-translational modification of the proteome, such as protein phosphorylation, plays a fundamental role in the regulation of stemness and differentiation of somatic stem cells. However, it remains unclear how phosphoproteomic changes occur and contribute to epidermal differentiation. In this study, we survey the epidermal cell differentiation in a systematic manner by combining quantitative phosphoproteomics with mammalian kinome cDNA library screen. This approach identified a key signaling event, phosphorylation of a desmosome component, PKP1 (plakophilin-1) by RIPK4 (receptor-interacting serine–threonine kinase 4) during epidermal differentiation. With genome-editing and mouse genetics approach, we show that loss of function of either Pkp1 or Ripk4 impairs skin differentiation and enhances epidermal carcinogenesis in vivo. Phosphorylation of PKP1's N-terminal domain by RIPK4 is essential for their role in epidermal differentiation. Taken together, our study presents a global view of phosphoproteomic changes that occur during epidermal differentiation, and identifies RIPK-PKP1 signaling as novel axis involved in skin stratification and tumorigenesis.

Original Article: Phosphorylation of Pkp1 by RIPK4 regulates epidermal differentiation and skin tumorigenesis

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