Trichohyalin is a structural protein that is produced and retained in the cells of the inner root sheath and medulla of the hair follicle. The gene for sheep trichohyalin has been purified and the complete amino acid sequence of trichohyalin determined in an attempt to increase the understanding of the structure and function of this protein in the filamentous network of the hardened inner root sheath cells. Sheep trichohyalin has a molecular weight of 201,172 and is characterized by the presence of a high proportion of glutamate, arginine, glutamine, and leucine residues, together totaling more than 75% of the amino acids. Over 65% of trichohyalin consists of two sets of tandem peptide repeats which are based on two different consensus sequences. Trichohyalin is predicted to form an elongated alpha-helical rod structure but does not contain the sequences required for the formation of intermediate filaments. The amino terminus of trichohyalin contains two EF hand calcium-binding domains indicating that trichohyalin plays more than a structural role within the hair follicle. In situ hybridization studies have shown that trichohyalin is expressed in the epithelia of the tongue, hoof, and rumen as well as in the inner root sheath and medulla of the hair follicle.

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