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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Profiling and metaanalysis of epidermal keratinocytes responses to epidermal growth factor

Miroslav Blumenberg

Author Affiliations

The R. O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and the NYU Cancer Institute, NYU Langone Medical Center, 10016, New York, NY, USA

BMC Genomics 2013, 14:85  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-85

Published: 8 February 2013



One challenge of systems biology is the integration of new data into the preexisting, and then re-interpretation of the integrated data. Here we use readily available metaanalysis computational methods to integrate new data on the transcriptomic effects of EGF in primary human epidermal keratinocytes with preexisting transcriptomics data in keratinocytes and in EGF-treated non-epidermal cell types.


We find that EGF promotes keratinocyte proliferation, attachment and motility and, surprisingly, induces DUSPs that attenuate the EGF signal. Our metaanalysis identified overlapping effects of EGF with those of IL-1 and IFN╬│, activators of keratinocyte in inflammation and wound healing. We also identified the genes and pathways suppressed by EGF but induced by agents promoting epidermal differentiation. Metaanalysis comparison with the EGF effects in other cell types identified extensive similarities between responses in keratinocytes and in other epithelial cell types, but specific differences with the EGF effects in endothelial cells, and in transformed, oncogenic epithelial cell lines.


This work defines the specific transcriptional effects of EGF on human epidermal keratinocytes. Our approach can serve as a suitable paradigm for integration of new omics data into preexisting databases and re-analysis of the integrated data sets.

Apoptosis; Cornification; Differentiation; Inflammation; Microarrays; Motility; Proliferation