Cellular processes involved in epidermal morphogenesis and wound repair and regeneration
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This thesis addresses some fundamental problems in skin development and wound healing processes. Skin, as we know is the outermost organ of the body and protects us from various environmental insults. It consists of three layers, namely the epidermis, dermis and the hypodermis. In this dissertation, I have addressed two main areas in skin biology, namely epidermal development and wound repair. The first part of the thesis deals with identifying crucial genes for epidermal development and barrier repair using micro-arrays and real time PCR. Here, I report a novel connection between metabolism and epidermal morphogenesis. Interestingly, we found several genes not known to play a part in this process. In chapter 3, I report a two wave response of the epidermis to barrier disruption. The last part of the thesis deals with signal transduction mechanisms involved in wound healing. Specifically, I studied the role of two MAPK pathways namely the ERK1/2 pathway and the JNK pathway. In chapter 4, I report that a growth factor KGF, a known mitogen signals through the ERK 1/2 pathway and up-regulates migration and proliferation via distinct members of the c/ebp transcription factor proteins. In chapter 5, I report a novel role of JNK pathway in migration and cell adhesion. Overall this work adds to our understanding of epidermal morphogenesis and wound repair. An understanding of these processes involved will help us in developing strategies targeted towards treatment of various skin diseases, burns and more improved wound healing.