A new marker of epidermal differentiation associated with the membrane coating granules: characterization and applications to pathology.
Bailly J, Darmon M, Juhlin L, Démarchez M.
A murine monoclonal antibody, BC12, was obtained after immunization against suprabasal human keratinocytes. In the epidermis of normal human skin, the antigen recognized by BC12 (BC12 antigen) is located at the apex of keratinocytes in the upper stratum spinosum and stratum granulosum but is absent in other layers. The BC12 antigen is also present in hair follicles. Immunoblotting performed on keratinocyte subpopulations confirmed the presence of the BC12 antigen in differentiated keratinocytes only. Two-dimensional immunoblotting showed that the BC12 antigen corresponds to a set of polypeptides with an apparent molecular weight of approximately 33kD. In keratinocyte cultures, the antigen is present only in stratified areas. The distribution of the BC12 antigen, as studied by indirect immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy, and its presence in certain subcellular fractions of epidermal cells suggest that it is a component of membrane coating granules (MCGs) or that it is associated with these structures. Strikingly, in psoriasis, eczema and many other diseases, the BC12 antibody does not label the epidermis, but vessels in dermal papillae. The BC12 antibody may thus be a useful tool in the study of keratinocyte differentiation and MCG physiology, and, also, in pathology.