Pulverized cornified epithelium of human skin was divided into a "soluble fraction" and a "residue." About half of the "soluble fraction" proved to be soluble epidermal keratin (keratin A); the remainder, dialyzable substances of low molecular weight. The "residue" contained epidermal keratin and resistant cell membranes of cornified cells. Epidermal keratin was found to form an oriented and dense submicroscopic structure in the cornified cells. It showed high resistance toward strong acid and moderately strong alkali solutions as well as concentrated urea. In strong alkali, reducing substances, alkaline urea, and mixtures of reducing substance with alkali, epidermal keratin dissociated and yielded a non-dialyzable derivative of high molecular weight (keratin B) which resembled true proteins. The cell membranes of cornified cells showed higher resistance toward strong alkali and reducing substance than did epidermal keratin.

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