The Cell Cycle Regulator Protein 14-3-3 sigma Is Essential for Hair Follicle Integrity and Epidermal Homeostasis

N. L. Hammond, D. J. Headon, M. J. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 14-3-3 sigma (Stratifin; Sfn) is a cell cycle regulator intimately involved in the program of epithelial keratinization. 14-3-3 sigma is unique in that it is expressed primarily in epithelial cells and is frequently silenced in epithelial cancers. Despite its well-documented role as a cell cycle regulator and as a tumor suppressor, the function of 14-3-3 sigma in the intricate balance of proliferation and differentiation in epithelial development is poorly understood. A mutation in 14-3-3 sigma was found to be responsible for the repeated epilation (Er) phenotype. It has previously been shown that Sfn(+/Er) mice are characterized by repeated hair loss and regrowth, whereas Sfn(Er/Er) mice die at birth displaying severe oral fusions and limb abnormalities as a result of defects in keratinizing epithelia. Here we show that mice heterozygous for the 14-3-3 sigma mutation have severe defects in hair shaft differentiation, resulting in destruction of the hair shaft during morphogenesis. Furthermore, we report that the interfollicular epidermis and sebaceous glands are hyperproliferative, coincident with expanded nuclear Yap1 (Yes-associated protein 1)-a critical modulator of epidermal stem cell proliferation. We also report that hair follicle stem cells in the bulge cycle abnormally, raising important questions as to the role of 14-3-3 sigma in the bulge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1553
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Alopecia
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Epidermis
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Hair
  • Hair Follicle
  • Hyperplasia
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Phenotype


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