IKKα Is Required to Maintain Skin Homeostasis and Prevent Skin Cancer

Bigang Liu, Xiaojun Xia, Feng Zhu, Eunmi Park, Steve Carbajal, Kaoru Kiguchi, John DiGiovanni, Susan M. Fischer, Yinling Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


It has long been known that excessive mitotic activity due to H-Ras can block keratinocyte differentiation and cause skin cancer. It is not clear whether there are any innate surveillants that are able to ensure that keratinocytes undergo terminal differentiation, preventing the disease. IKKα induces keratinocyte terminal differentiation, and its downregulation promotes skin tumor development. However, its intrinsic function in skin cancer is unknown. Here, we found that mice with IKKα deletion in keratinocytes develop a thickened epidermis and spontaneous squamous cell-like carcinomas. Inactivation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) or reintroduction of IKKα inhibits excessive mitosis, induces terminal differentiation, and prevents skin cancer through repressing an EGFR-driven autocrine loop. Thus, IKKα serves as an innate surveillant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-225
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 9 2008



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Cell Biology
  • Oncology


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