Dictionary > Cornification

Cornification

Definition
noun, plural: cornifications
The process of forming a keratinized, horny layer of epidermis
cornified, adjective
Made to become, converted into, or forming a horny layer of epidermis
Supplement
Cornification is a process wherein a horny layer of epidermis is formed and acts as an epidermal barrier. It is characterized by the production of keratin. Keratins are a group of fibrous proteins made up of coiled polypeptide chains. These polypeptide chains combine forming supercoils. Keratins are important structural component of biological structures such as skin, hair, horn, nails, feathers, hooves, etc. Apart from the production of keratin, cornification is also characterized by the production of small proline-rich proteins and transglutaminase. The result is a formation of a cornified cell envelope underneath the plasma membrane. During the last stages of cornification, the cells lose the organelles including the nuclei and become filled by keratin. This then leads to the cessation of metabolism. Eventually, the fully keratinized cells go through a programmed cell death.
Cells that underwent cornification, particularly the epidermal cells, become almost waterproof on the outermost of the skin. The result is a strong yet elastic epidermal barrier. A continuous rubbing and pressure of the cornified layer leads to further thickening and the formation of calluses. Calluses though may disappear when pressure is removed since the epidermal cells are constantly shed and replaced.
Synonym:

  • keratinization

See also:

  • keratin
  • epidermis
  • cell death


  • You will also like...

    Birth Control and Contraception
    Birth Control and Contraception

    Different pregnancy and birth control and contraception strategies are described. Read this tutorial to learn each of th..

    Homo Species
    The Homo Species

    The evolution of the species of the genus "Homo" led to the emergence of modern humans. Find out more about human evolut..

    Darwin's Finches - Natural Selection
    Darwin and Natural Selection

    This tutorial investigates the genetic diversity in more detail. It also delineates how certain alleles are favored over..

    An artistic depiction of a human embryo
    Growth and Development of a Human Baby

    Upon fertilization, a zygote forms and develops into an embryo. This tutorial elaborates on the growth and development f..

    Peppered moth ("Biston betularia") melanic and light form
    Examples of Natural Selection

    Darwin's Finches are an example of natural selection in action. They are an excellent example of the way species' gene p..

    Ploidy
    Polyploidy

    Humans are diploid creatures. This means that for every chromosome in the body, there is another one to match it. Howeve..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics