Deletion of the glucocorticoid receptor chaperone FKBP51 prevents glucocorticoid-induced skin atrophy

Gleb Baida, Pankaj Bhalla, Alexander Yemelyanov, Lance A. Stechschulte, Weinian Shou, Ben Readhead, Joel T. Dudley, Edwin R. Sánchez, Irina Budunova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


FKBP51 (FK506-binding protein 51) is a known co-chaperone and regulator of theglucocorticoid receptor (GR), which usually attenuates its activity. FKBP51 is one ofthe major GR target genes in skin, but its role in clinical effects of glucocorticoids is notknown. Here, we used FKBP51 knockout (KO) mice to determine FKBP51's role in themajor adverse effect of topical glucocorticoids, skin atrophy. Unexpectedly, we foundthat all skin compartments (epidermis, dermis, dermal adipose and CD34+ stem cells)in FKBP51 KO animals were much more resistant to glucocorticoid-induced hypoplasia.Furthermore, despite the absence of inhibitory FKBP51, the basal level of expressionand glucocorticoid activation of GR target genes were not increased in FKBP51 KO skinor CRISPR/Cas9-edited FKBP51 KO HaCaT human keratinocytes. FKBP51 is known tonegatively regulate Akt and mTOR. We found a significant increase in AktSer473 andmTORSer2448 phosphorylation and downstream pro-growth signaling in FKBP51-deficient keratinocytes in vivo and in vitro. As Akt/mTOR-GR crosstalk is usuallynegative in skin, our results suggest that Akt/mTOR activation could be responsiblefor the lack of increased GR function and resistance of FKBP51 KO mice to the steroidinduced skin atrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34772-34783
Number of pages12
Issue number78
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Akt
  • FKBP51
  • Glucocorticoid
  • Glucocorticoid receptor
  • Skin atrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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