Abstract Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important cellular phenomenon in organ developments, cancer invasions, and wound healing, and many types of transformed cell lines are used for investigating for molecular mechanisms of EMT. However, there are few reports for EMT in normal human epithelial cells, which are non-transformed or non-immortalized cells, in vitro. Therefore, normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK) serially cultured in low-calcium concentration medium (LCM) were used for investigating relations between differentiation and proliferation and mesenchymal-like phenotype in the present study, since long-term cultivation of NHEK is achieved in LCM. Interestingly, NHEK serially cultured in LCM consisted essentially of cytokeratin–vimentin double positive cells (98%), although the NHEK exhibited differentiation under high-calcium culture condition with 3T3 feeder layer. The vimentin expression was suppressed under high-calcium condition. These results may indicate the importance of mesenchymal-like phenotype for serially cultivation of NHEK in vitro.