- •The OVOL1–OVOL2 axis regulates cell differentiation and proliferation in the skin.
- •OVOL1 has a protective role in invasive cutaneous SCC and malignant melanoma.
- •AHR–OVOL1-mediated filaggrin expression is crucial for skin barrier functions.
OVOLs (OVO-like proteins) are ubiquitously conserved genes encoding a C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor in mammals. Functional studies on OVOL1 and OVOL2 using knockout mice have suggested that these genes play a pivotal role in the development of epithelial tissues arising from germ cells; however, the role of the OVOL1–OVOL2 axis in normal and diseased tissues remains unclear. This review highlights recent advances in understanding how the OVOL1–OVOL2 axis modulates cell differentiation and proliferation in human keratinocytes, hair follicles, and benign or malignant skin tumors including squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Furthermore, OVOL1 has been shown to be involved in the expression of skin barrier proteins including filaggrin (FLG), and its mutation or dysfunction leads to the development of atopic dermatitis (AD). OVOL1 has also been identified as a susceptibility gene for AD by genome-wide association studies, in addition to FLG. Therefore, we discuss the relationship between OVOL1 and FLG in the development of AD.
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Gaku Tsuji is a dermatologist from the Department of Dermatology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan. He received his Medical Doctorate in 2002 and Ph.D. in 2011 from Tottori University and Kyushu University, respectively. His research interests include the role of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) in the skin, particularly AHR-mediated transcriptional networks in redox status and autophagy in human keratinocytes and fibroblasts.
Published online: February 12, 2018
Accepted: February 8, 2018
Received in revised form: January 21, 2018
Received: August 22, 2017
© 2018 Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.