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Kindler syndrome.

Kindler syndrome is a rare, autosomal recessive skin fragility disorder characterized by blistering in infancy, followed by photosensitivity and progressive poikiloderma. Ultrastructural examination reveals marked basement membrane reduplication and variable levels of cleavage at the dermal-epidermal junction. The molecular pathology underlying Kindler syndrome has recently been shown to involve loss-of-function mutations in a novel gene, KIND1, encoding kindlin-1. Immunofluorescence, gene expression and cell biology studies have shown that kindlin-1 is expressed mainly in basal keratinocytes and plays a role in the attachment of the actin cytoskeleton via focal contacts to the extracellular matrix. Thus, Kindler syndrome is the first genodermatosis caused by a defect in actin-extracellular matrix linkage rather than the classic keratin-extracellular matrix linkage underlying the pathology of other inherited skin fragility disorders such as epidermolysis bullosa. This article reviews the clinical features as well as the molecular and cellular pathology of Kindler syndrome and highlights the importance of the new protein, kindlin-1, in cell-matrix adhesion and its intriguing link to photosensitivity.

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