The desmosome.

Department of Cell Biology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology (Impact Factor: 8.23). 08/2009; 1(2):a002543. DOI: 10.1101/cshperspect.a002543
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Desmosomes are intercellular junctions that tether intermediate filaments to the plasma membrane. Desmogleins and desmocollins, members of the cadherin superfamily, mediate adhesion at desmosomes. Cytoplasmic components of the desmosome associate with the desmosomal cadherin tails through a series of protein interactions, which serve to recruit intermediate filaments to sites of desmosome assembly. These desmosomal plaque components include plakoglobin and the plakophilins, members of the armadillo gene family. Linkage to the cytoskeleton is mediated by the intermediate filament binding protein, desmoplakin, which associates with both plakoglobin and plakophilins. Although desmosomes are critical for maintaining stable cell-cell adhesion, emerging evidence indicates that they are also dynamic structures that contribute to cellular processes beyond that of cell adhesion. This article outlines the structure and function of the major desmosomal proteins, and explores the contributions of this protein complex to tissue architecture and morphogenesis.

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    ABSTRACT: The expression of desmogleins (DSGs), which are known to be crucial for establishing and maintaining the cell-cell adhesion required for tissue integrity, has been well characterized in the epidermis and hair follicle; however, their expression in other epithelial tissues such as prostate is poorly understood. Although downregulation of classical cadherins, such as E-cadherin, has been described in prostate cancer tissue samples, the expression of desmogleins has only been previously reported in prostate cancer cell lines. In this study we characterized desmoglein expression in normal prostate tissues, and further investigated whether Desmoglein 2 (DSG2) expression specifically can serve as a potential clinical prognostic factor for patients diagnosed with primary prostate cancer.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e98786. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Desmosomes are intercellular adhesive junctions of major importance for tissue integrity. To allow cell motility and migration they are down-regulated in epidermal wound healing. Electron microscopy indicates that whole desmosomes are internalised by cells in tissues, but the mechanism of down-regulation is unclear. In this paper we provide an overview of the internalisation of half-desmosomes by cultured cells induced by calcium chelation. Our results show that: (i) half desmosome internalisation is dependent on conventional PKC isoforms; (ii) microtubules transport internalised half desmosomes to the region of the centrosome by a kinesin-dependent mechanism; (iii) desmosomal proteins remain colocalised after internalisation and are not recycled to the cell surface; (iv) internalised desmosomes are degraded by the combined action of lysosomes and proteasomes. We also confirm that half desmosome internalisation is dependent upon the actin cytoskeleton. These results suggest that half desmosomes are not disassembled and recycled during or after internalisation but instead are transported to the centrosomal region where they are degraded. These findings may have significance for the down-regulation of desmosomes in wounds.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e108570. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Disruption of cell-cell junctions and the concomitant loss of polarity, downregulation of tumor-suppressive adherens junctions and desmosomes represent hallmark phenotypes for several different cancer cells. Moreover, a variety of evidence supports the argument that these two common phenotypes of cancer cells directly contribute to tumorigenesis. In this study, we aimed to determine the status of intercellular junction proteins expression in JJ012 human malignant chondrosarcoma cells and investigate the effect of the antitumorigenic cytokine, proline-rich polypeptide-1 (PRP-1) on their expression. The cell junction pathway array data indicated downregulation of desmosomal proteins, such as desmoglein (1,428-fold), desmoplakin (620-fold) and plakoglobin (442-fold). The tight junction proteins claudin 11 and E-cadherin were also downregulated (399- and 52-fold, respectively). Among the upregulated proteins were the characteristic for tumors gap junction β-5 protein (connexin 31.1) and the pro-inflammatory pathway protein intercellular adhesion molecule (upregulated 129- and 43-fold, respectively). We demonstrated that PRP-1 restored the expression of the abovementioned downregulated in chondrosarcoma desmosomal proteins. PRP-1 inhibited H3K9-specific histone demethylase activity in chondrosarcoma cells in a dose-dependent manner (0.5 µg/ml PRP, 63%; 1 µg/ml PRP, 74%; and 10 µg/ml PRP, 91% inhibition). Members of the H3K9 family were shown to transcriptionally repress tumor suppressor genes and contribute to cancer progression. Our experimental data indicated that PRP-1 restores tumor suppressor desmosomal protein expression in JJ012 human chondrosarcoma cells and inhibits H3K9 demethylase activity, contributing to the suppression of tumorigenic potential in chondrosarcoma cells.
    Molecular and Clinical Oncology 01/2015; 3(1):171-178.


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