Gene expression profiling of Japanese psoriatic skin reveals an increased activity in molecular stress and immune response signals

Jerzy K. Kulski, William Kenworthy, Matthew Bellgard, Ross Taplin, Koichi Okamoto, Akira Oka, Tomotaka Mabuchi, Akira Ozawa, Gen Tamiya, Hidetoshi Inoko

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Gene expression profiling was performed on biopsies of affected and unaffected psoriatic skin and normal skin from seven Japanese patients to obtain insights into the pathways that control this disease. HUG95A Affymetrix DNA chips that contained oligonucleotide arrays of approximately 12,000 well-characterized human genes were used in the study. The statistical analysis of the Affymetrix data, based on the ranking of the Student t-test statistic, revealed a complex regulation of molecular stress and immune gene responses. The majority of the 266 induced genes in affected and unaffected psoriatic skin were involved with interferon mediation, immunity, cell adhesion, cytoskeleton restructuring, protein trafficking and degradation, RNA regulation and degradation, signalling transduction, apoptosis and atypical epidermal cellular proliferation and differentiation. The disturbances in the normal protein degradation equilibrium of skin were reflected by the significant increase in the gene expression of various protease inhibitors and proteinases, including the induced components of the ATP/ubiquitin-dependent non-lysosomal proteolytic pathway that is involved with peptide processing and presentation to T cells. Some of the up-regulated genes, such as TGM1, IVL, FABP5, CSTA and SPRR, are well-known psoriatic markers involved in atypical epidermal cellular organization and differentiation. In the comparison between the affected and unaffected psoriatic skin, the transcription factor JUNB was found at the top of the statistical rankings for the up-regulated genes in affected skin, suggesting that it has an important but as yet undefined role in psoriasis. Our gene expression data and analysis suggest that psoriasis is a chronic interferon- and T-cell-mediated immune disease of the skin where the imbalance in epidermal cellular structure, growth and differentiation arises from the molecular antiviral stress signals initiating inappropriate immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-975
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec


  • Gene expression
  • Immune responses
  • Interferon responses
  • Protein degradation
  • Psoriasis
  • Skin


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