The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the keratin gene family. The keratins are intermediate filament proteins responsible for the structural integrity of epithelial cells and are subdivided into cytokeratins and hair keratins. Most of the type I cytokeratins consist of acidic proteins which are arranged in pairs of heterotypic keratin chains and are clustered in a region on chromosome 17q21.2. [provided by RefSeq].
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