ABSTRACTKeratinocyte proliferation and migration are crucial steps for the rapid closure of the epidermis during wound healing, but the molecular mechanisms involved in this cellular response remain to be completely elucidated. Here, by in situ hybridization we characterize the expression pattern of miR-203 after the induction of wound in mouse epidermis, showing that its expression is downregulated in the highly proliferating keratinocytes of the ‘migrating tongue’, whereas it is strongly expressed in the differentiating cells of the skin outside the wound. Furthermore, subcutaneous injections of antagomiR-203 in new born mice dorsal skin strengthened, in vivo, the inverse correlation between miR-203 expression and two new target mRNAs: RAN and RAPH1. Our data suggest that miR-203, by controlling the expression of target proteins that are responsible for both keratinocyte proliferation and migration, exerts a specific role in wound re-epithelialization and epidermal homeostasis re-establishment of injured skin.
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