Activation of human keratinocyte migration on type I collagen and fibronectin

Ming Guo, Ken Ichi Toda, Frederick Grinnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The purpose of our studies was to learn more about the regulation of keratinocyte migration. Human keratinocytes freshly harvested from skin were relatively immotile cells, whereas keratinocytes harvested from cell culture migrated on type I collagen or fibronectin as measured in a phagokinesis assay. Development of migratory competence by keratinocytes varied depending on the culture substratum. Cells cultured on plastic were activated more quickly and to greater extent than cells cultured on dermis. The effect of the culture substratum on migratory competence was reversible. That is, cells cultured on plastic showed reduced activity after subculture on dermis. Cells cultured on dermis showed increased activity after subculture on plastic. Freshly isolated as well as cultured keratinocytes contained β1 integrin subunits, but only cultured cells were able to organize the subunits into focal adhesions. These adhesion sites also contained vinculin. In epidermal explants, β1 integrin subunits were mostly in basal cells, often more prominent between lateral cell borders than at the epidermal-dermal interface. In keratinocytes that migrated out of skin explants, there appeared to be an increase in the intensity of β1 integrin subunit immunostaining, possibly because of the change in shape of migrating cells. Also, β1 integrin subunits were found around and beneath migrating keratinocytes. These results show that changes in the distribution of β1 integrin subunits accompany development of migratory competence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990


  • Keratonicytes
  • collagen
  • fibronectin
  • integrins
  • migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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