J Morphol 2021 Apr 8. Epub 2021 Apr 8.
Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
The EDC (Epidermal Differentiation Complex) is a cluster of genes that encode structural proteins of skin derivatives with variable mechanical performances, from the scales of reptiles and birds to the hard claws and beaks, and to the flexible but resistant corneous material of feathers. Corneous proteins with or without extended beta-regions are produced from avian genomes, and include the largely prevalent corneous beta proteins (CβPs, formerly indicated as beta-keratins), and minor contribution from histidine-rich proteins, trichohyalin-like proteins (scaffoldin), loricrin, and other proteins rich in cysteine or other types of amino acids. The light-microscopic and ultrastructural immunolocalization of major and minor EDC-proteins in avian skin (feather CβPs, EDKM, EDWM, EDMTFH, EDDM and scaffoldin) suggests that each specific appendage consists of a particular mix of these proteins in addition to the main proteins containing a peculiar beta-region of 34 amino acids, indicated as feather/scale/claw/beak CβPs (fCβPs, sCβPs, cCβPs, bCβPs). Read More