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Dermatology Research and PracticeVolume 2010 2010, Article ID 930401, 12 pages

Review Article

New York Structural Biology Center, 89 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10027, USA

Department of Cell Biology, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA

Received 30 November 2009; Revised 17 February 2010; Accepted 16 April 2010

Academic Editor: My G. Mahoney

Copyright © 2010 Gethin R. Owen and David L. Stokes. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Desmosomes are a complex assembly of protein molecules that mediate adhesion between adjacent cells. Desmosome composition is well established and spatial relationships between components have been identified. Intercellular cell-cell adhesion is created by the interaction of extracellular domains of desmosomal cadherins, namely, desmocollins and desmogleins. High-resolution methods have provided insight into the structural interactions between cadherins. However, there is a lack of understanding about the architecture of the intact desmosomes and the physical principles behind their adhesive strength are unclear. Electron Tomography ET studies have offered three-dimensional visual data of desmosomal cadherin associations at molecular resolution. This review discusses the merits of two cadherin association models represented using ET. We discuss the possible role of sample preparation on the structural differences seen between models and the possibility of adaptive changes in the structure as a direct consequence of mechanical stress and stratification.

Autor: Gethin R. Owen and David L. Stokes

Fuente: https://www.hindawi.com/


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