Skin epidermis is an active site of lipid synthesis. The intercellular lipids of human stratum corneum (SC) are unique in composition and quite different from the lipids found in most biological membranes. The three major lipids in the SC are free fatty acids, cholesterol and ceramides. Fatty acids can be synthesized by keratinocytes de novo and, in addition, need to be taken up from the circulation. The latter process has been shown to be protein mediated, and several fatty acid transporters are expressed in skin. Recent studies of transgenic and knockout animal models for fatty acid transporters and the identification of fatty acid transport protein 4 (FATP4 or SLC27A4) mutations as causative for Ichthyosis Prematurity Syndrome highlight the vital roles of fatty acid transport and metabolism in skin homeostasis. This review provides an overview of our current understanding of the role of fatty acids and their transporters in cutaneous biology, including their involvement in epidermal barrier generation and skin inflammation.
- Fatty acid activation
- Fatty acids transport
- Ichthyosis prematurity syndrome
- Skin barrier