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Role of IRX5 in epidermal and hair follicle stem cells

Creative Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

In tissues undergoing constant cellular turnover, DNA damage repair is critical as proliferating cells are prone to replication errors. Genomic instability, especially in adult stem cells, can result in senescence, apoptosis, or uncontrolled growth. Here, we focus on two stem cell types, hair follicle stem cells and basal keratinocytes, both of which rapidly proliferate to maintain tissue homeostasis. Here, we characterize an novel transcription factor, IRX5, as a critical mediator of DNA damage repair and stem cell activation. In a Irx5 knockout mouse model, HFSC exhibit prolonged senescence in part due to defective DNA damage repair. Furthermore, we identify FGF18 and BRCA1/BARD1 as downstream targets of IRX5.

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