Epithelial cells and the sheets they produce, including our skin, are incredibly strong thanks
to their internal keratin filament cytoskeleton networks. Mutations in the genes encoding
keratin proteins lead to skin fragility disorders such as epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Individuals
suffering from EB are known as “butterfly children” as their skin can blister with the slightest
mechanical stress. DEBRA (www.debrasingapore.org) is a well-established charity
supporting EB patients around the world. Research teams at the Institute of Medical Biology
(IMB; www.a-star.edu.sg/imb) and the Skin Research Institute of Singapore (SRIS; www.astar.
edu.sg/sris) within A*STAR are working to understand the biology behind the disease
and the pathological consequences of keratin mutations.
Read the full expert review by Graham Wright here.