Vitamin D Receptor Cross-talk with p63 Signaling PromotesEpidermal Cell Fate.

Oda Y. et al.

The vitamin D receptor with its ligand 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D (1,25D) regulates epidermal stem cell fate, such that VDR removal from Krt14 expressing keratinocytes delays re-epithelialization of epidermis after wound injury in mice. In this study we deleted Vdr from Lrig1 expressing stem cells in the isthmus of the hair follicle then used lineage tracing to evaluate the impact on re-epithelialization following injury. We showed that Vdr deletion from these cells prevents their migration to and regeneration of the interfollicular epidermis without impairing their ability to repopulate the sebaceous gland. To pursue the molecular basis for these effects of VDR, we performed genome wide transcriptional analysis of keratinocytes from Vdr cKO and control littermate mice. Ingenuity Pathway analysis (IPA) pointed us to the TP53 family including p63 as a partner with VDR, a transcriptional factor that is essential for proliferation and differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes. Epigenetic studies on epidermal keratinocytes derived from interfollicular epidermis showed that VDR is colocalized with p63 within the specific regulatory region of MED1 containing super-enhancers of epidermal fate driven transcription factor genes such as Fos and Jun. Gene ontology analysis further implicated that Vdr and p63 associated genomic regions regulate genes involving stem cell fate and epidermal differentiation. To demonstrate the functional interaction between VDR and p63, we evaluated the response to 1,25(OH)D of keratinocytes lacking p63 and noted a reduction in epidermal cell fate determining transcription factors such as Fos, Jun. We conclude that VDR is required for the epidermal stem cell fate orientation towards interfollicular epidermis. We propose that this role of VDR involves cross-talk with the epidermal master regulator p63 through super-enhancer mediated epigenetic dynamics.

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June, 2023


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