Troy/Tnfrsf19 marks epidermal cells that govern interfollicular epidermal renewal and cornification

Kai Kretzschmar, Kim E. Boonekamp, Margit Bleijs, Priyanca Asra, Mandy Koomen, Susana M. Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Barbara Giovannone, Hans Clevers

Published: 14 September 2021


The skin epidermis is a highly compartmentalized tissue consisting of a cornifying epithelium called the interfollicular epidermis (IFE) and associated hair follicles (HFs). Several stem cell populations have been described that mark specific compartments in the skin but none of them is specific to the IFE. Here, we identify Troy as a marker of IFE and HF infundibulum basal layer cells in developing and adult human and mouse epidermis. Genetic lineage-tracing experiments demonstrate that Troy-expressing basal cells contribute to long-term renewal of all layers of the cornifying epithelium. Single-cell transcriptomics and organoid assays of Troy-expressing cells, as well as their progeny, confirmed stem cell identity as well as the ability to generate differentiating daughter cells. In conclusion, we define Troy as a marker of epidermal basal cells that govern interfollicular epidermal renewal and cornification.

Graphical abstract

Full Access Link: Stem Cell Reports