• H. P. Baden
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 87 / 1)


Keratinisation is a complex orderly process by which viable epidermal cells are converted into dead cornified cells. In the skin this occurs in the epidermis, hair and nails, although there are significant differences in the products formed in the three tissues. A structure common to all of them, however, is the filamentous fibrous protein, keratin (FRaser et al. 1972), which is synthesised and remains intracellularly. Keratin has a coiled coil structure in all three tissues as revealed by X-ray diffraction studies but the amino acid composition of epidermal keratin differs from that of nail and hair, which are very similar (Table 1) (BADEN et al. 1973).


Stratum Corneum Human Epidermis Stratum Corneum Lipid Fibrous Protein Cornified Envelope 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • H. P. Baden

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