Desmosomes are prominent cell-cell adhesive junctions in stratified squamous epithelia and disruption of desmosomal adhesion has been shown to have dramatic effects on the function and integrity of these tissues. During normal physiologic processes, such as tissue development and wound healing, intercellular adhesion must be modified locally to allow coordinated cell movements. The mechanisms that control junction integrity and adhesive strength under these conditions are poorly understood. We utilized a proteomics approach to identify plakophilin-3 associated proteins and identified the 14-3-3 family member stratifin. Stratifin interacts specifically with plakophilin-3 and not with other plakophilin isoforms and mutation analysis demonstrated the binding site includes serine 285 in the amino terminal head domain of plakophilin-3. Stratifin interacts with a cytoplasmic pool of plakophilin-3 and is not associated with the desmosome in cultured cells. FRAP analysis revealed that decreased stratifin expression leads to an increase in the exchange rate of cytoplasmic plakophilin-3/GFP with the pool of plakophilin-3/GFP in the desmosome resulting in decreased desmosomal adhesion and increased cell migration. We propose a model by which stratifin plays a role in regulating plakophilin-3 incorporation into the desmosomal plaque by forming a plakophilin-3 stratifin complex in the cytosol and thereby affecting desmosome dynamics in squamous epithelial cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences