Bullous congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma (BCIE) is a dominantly inherited blistering skin disorder caused by point mutations in the suprabasal cytokeratins 1 or 10. Targeting the murine cytokeratin 10 gene in ES cells resulted in mice with different phenotypes in the homozygotes and heterozygotes; both of which exhibit similarities to specific clinical characteristics of BCIE. Homozygotes suffered from severe skin fragility and died shortly after birth. Heterozygotes were apparently unaffected at birth, but developed hyperkeratosis with age. In both genotypes, aggregation of cytokeratin intermediate filaments, changes in cytokeratin expression, and alterations in the program of epidermal differentiation were observed. In addition we demonstrate, for the first time, the existence of the murine equivalent of human cytokeratin 16.

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