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Duncan Wotherspoon: Controlling Epidermal Terminal Differentiation with Transcriptional Bursting and RNA Bodies

The outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, is the principal barrier to the external environment: post-mitotic cells terminally differentiate to form a tough outer cornified layer of enucleate and flattened cells that confer the majority of skin barrier function.

Nuclear degradation is required for correct cornified envelope formation. This process requires mRNA translation during the process of nuclear destruction.

In this review and perspective, we address the biology of transcriptional bursting and the formation of ribonuclear particles in model organisms including mammals, and then examine the evidence that these phenomena occur as part of epidermal terminal differentiation.

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