Skin cornification proteins provide global link between ROS detoxification and cell migration during wound healing

Wilbert P Vermeij, Claude Backendorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Wound healing is a complex dynamic process characterised by a uniform flow of events in nearly all types of tissue damage, from a small skin scratch to myocardial infarction. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential during the healing process at multiple stages, ranging from the initial signal that instigates the immune response, to the triggering of intracellular redox-dependent signalling pathways and the defence against invading bacteria. Excessive ROS in the wound milieu nevertheless impedes new tissue formation. Here we identify small proline-rich (SPRR) proteins as essential players in this latter process, as they directly link ROS detoxification with cell migration. A literature-based meta-analysis revealed their up-regulation in various forms of tissue injury, ranging from heart infarction and commensal-induced gut responses to nerve regeneration and burn injury. Apparently, SPRR proteins have a far more widespread role in wound healing and tissue remodelling than their established function in skin cornification. It is inferred that SPRR proteins provide injured tissue with an efficient, finely tuneable antioxidant barrier specifically adapted to the tissue involved and the damage inflicted. Their recognition as novel cell protective proteins combining ROS detoxification with cell migration will provide new venues to study and manage tissue repair and wound healing at a molecular level. © 2010 Vermeij, Backendorf.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11957
Pages (from-to)e11957
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Ascorbic Acid/pharmacology
  • Cell Movement/drug effects
  • Cornified Envelope Proline-Rich Proteins/chemistry
  • Cysteine
  • Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes/drug effects
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
  • Skin/drug effects
  • Wound Healing/drug effects


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