We have previously identified and cloned a novel keratinocyte growth factor (KGF)-regulated gene in human keratinocytes that encodes the human homologue of a bovine non-selenium glutathione peroxidase (GPx). To gain insight into the regulation of this gene in vivo, we isolated the murine homologue from a mouse skin cDNA library. In vitro transcription/translation demonstrated that the cDNA encodes a 27 kDa protein. Furthermore, we amplified by PCR a partial cDNA that most likely corresponds to a related gene. RNase protection analysis revealed tissue-specific expression of both genes and the occurrence of alternative splicing or RNA editing of at least one of the primary transcripts. Similar to that of KGF, expression of GPx was strongly induced after cutaneous injury, and each isoform displayed unique kinetics of expression during the repair process. In situ hybridization studies demonstrated high levels of GPx mRNA in keratinocytes of the hyperproliferative epithelium at the wound edge. Since these cells express functional KGF receptors, induction of GPx expression by KGF might also occur in vivo. These data suggest a role for GPx in the protection of epithelial cells against oxidative stress, particularly during the inflammatory phase of wound repair.

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