2000 J Invest Dermatol. 2000 May;114(5):960-6.
Institut Fédératif de Recherche en Immunologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, Hôpital Purpan, Toulouse, France. [email protected]

Identification of two secreted phospholipases A2 in human epidermis

Phospholipases A2 are enzymes that catalyze the release of fatty acids from the sn-2 position of phospholipids. Fatty acids have been suggested to play a key role in the barrier function of the epidermis. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize the type of secretory phospholipase A2 expressed in human epidermis. We report the molecular cloning of two secretory phospholipase A2 in the human epidermis. The first enzyme is identical to human pancreatic type IB phospholipase A2. Western blots revealed a 14 kDa protein localized in the soluble fraction. The second phospholipase A2 is identical to human synovial type IIA enzyme and is localized in the membrane fraction. By semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction performed on horizontal sections of the epidermis, we found that the mRNAs of both phospholipases A2 were expressed mainly in the basal layers of the epidermis. Our data thus provide evidence for the expression of two secretory phospholipases A2 in human epidermis. The different localization of these two secretory proteins strongly suggests that each enzyme might have a specific role in skin physiology and probably in the barrier function. Taken together, these data validate the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction technique performed on thin sections as a first approach to detect gene expression in different layers of the epidermis.