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Reviewed February 2014

What is the official name of the KRT10 gene?

The official name of this gene is “keratin 10, type I.”

KRT10 is the gene's official symbol. The KRT10 gene is also known by other names, listed below.

Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.

What is the normal function of the KRT10 gene?

The KRT10 gene provides instructions for making a protein called keratin 10. Keratins are a group of tough, fibrous proteins that form the structural framework of cells called keratinocytes that make up the skin, hair, and nails. Keratin 10 is produced in keratinocytes in the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis).

In the fluid-filled space inside these cells (the cytoplasm), the keratin 10 protein partners with a similar protein, keratin 1 (produced from the KRT1 gene), to form molecules called keratin intermediate filaments. These filaments assemble into strong networks that provide strength and resiliency to the skin and protect it from being damaged by friction and other everyday physical stresses.

Does the KRT10 gene share characteristics with other genes?

The KRT10 gene belongs to a family of genes called KRT (keratins).

A gene family is a group of genes that share important characteristics. Classifying individual genes into families helps researchers describe how genes are related to each other. For more information, see What are gene families? in the Handbook.

How are changes in the KRT10 gene related to health conditions?

epidermolytic hyperkeratosis - caused by mutations in the KRT10 gene

Dozens of mutations in the KRT10 gene have been found in people with epidermolytic hyperkeratosis. This condition is characterized by red, blistering skin at an early age and thick skin (hyperkeratosis) later in life. People with KRT10 gene mutations typically have NPS-type epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, which features thick skin on many parts of the body but not the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

Most KRT10 gene mutations associated with epidermolytic hyperkeratosis change a single protein building block (amino acid) in the keratin 10 protein. These amino acid changes commonly occur in regions of the protein that play a role in intermediate filament formation. The mutations alter the keratin 10 protein and seem to affect how intermediate filaments interact with each other to form networks. The altered proteins still form intermediate filaments, but the intermediate filament networks are disorganized and do not function normally. Without a strong network, skin cells become fragile and are easily damaged, which can lead to blistering in response to friction or mild trauma. It is unclear how these mutations cause the overgrowth of keratinocytes that results in hyperkeratotic skin.

ichthyosis with confetti - caused by mutations in the KRT10 gene

Mutations in the KRT10 gene can cause another skin disorder known as ichthyosis with confetti (also called congenital reticular ichthyosiform erythroderma), which is characterized by red, scaly skin all over the body with small patches of normal skin that look like confetti. The patches of normal skin increase in number and size with age. The KRT10 gene mutations involved in this condition, which are initially found in every cell of the body, alter the genetic sequence that is used as a blueprint for protein production, leading to production of abnormal keratin 10 protein. The abnormal protein includes a region at the end with an excess of the amino acid arginine; this arginine-rich region is not found in the normal keratin 10 protein. Researchers believe that this abnormal amino acid sequence directs the protein into the nucleus of the cell, where it cannot form the strong network of intermediate filaments. Loss of this network disrupts the outer layer of skin, contributing to the development of red, scaly skin.

In some abnormal cells, the mutated gene corrects itself through a complex process by which genetic material is exchanged between chromosomes. As a result, normal keratin 10 protein is produced and remains in the cytoplasm. The cell becomes normal and, as it continues to grow and divide, forms patches of normal skin in people with ichthyosis with confetti.

other disorders - caused by mutations in the KRT10 gene

Cyclic ichthyosis with epidermolytic hyperkeratosis is another skin disorder caused by mutations in the KRT10 gene. This condition is similar to epidermolytic hyperkeratosis (described above), but the skin changes disappear for short periods, and then recur. The recurrent skin changes can last for weeks or months.

Where is the KRT10 gene located?

Cytogenetic Location: 17q21

Molecular Location on chromosome 17: base pairs 40,818,117 to 40,822,618

(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (NCBIThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference.)

The KRT10 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 17 at position 21.

The KRT10 gene is located on the long (q) arm of chromosome 17 at position 21.

More precisely, the KRT10 gene is located from base pair 40,818,117 to base pair 40,822,618 on chromosome 17.

See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about KRT10?

You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about KRT10 helpful.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for the KRT10 gene or gene products?

  • CK10
  • CK-10
  • cytokeratin 10
  • K1C10_HUMAN
  • K10
  • keratin-10
  • keratin 10
  • keratin, type I cytoskeletal 10

Where can I find general information about genes?

The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.

These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.

What glossary definitions help with understanding KRT10?

amino acid ; amino acid sequence ; arginine ; cell ; congenital ; cytokeratin ; cytoplasm ; epidermis ; erythroderma ; gene ; ichthyosiform ; ichthyosis ; intermediate filaments ; keratin ; mosaicism ; nucleus ; protein ; trauma

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

References (9 links)


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.

Reviewed: February 2014
Published: February 8, 2016