Many important transgenic mouse models of benign and neoplastic skin diseases have been generated through the use of promoters that target transgene expression to the different epidermal layers. However, more mechanistic studies of the specific effects of the transgenes on keratinocytes have been hampered by difficulties in culturing keratinocytes from adult mouse epidermis and by the low differentiation potential of many established mouse keratinocyte lines. We have used the Rheinwald & Green technique to cultivate primary adult keratinocytes and to generate keratinocyte lines from transgenic mice which have a sporadic psoriatic phenotype due to expression of human integrin subunits under the control of the involucrin promoter. We show that the transgenes are induced when keratinocytes are placed in suspension and that the transgenic integrins are capable of clustering in focal adhesions and mediating cell adhesion and spreading. We also show that suprabasal integrin expression has no direct effect on proliferation of cells in the underlying basal layer, ruling this out as a possible explanation for the epidermal hyperproliferation observed in the transgenic mice.