G2Cdb::Gene report

Gene id
Gene symbol
Homo sapiens
junction plakoglobin
G00000594 (Mus musculus)

Databases (8)

ENSG00000173801 (Ensembl human gene)
3728 (Entrez Gene)
1018 (G2Cdb plasticity & disease)
JUP (GeneCards)
173325 (OMIM)
Marker Symbol
HGNC:6207 (HGNC)
Protein Expression
2139 (human protein atlas)
Protein Sequence
P14923 (UniProt)

Synonyms (4)

  • DP3
  • PDGB
  • PKGB

Literature (97)

Pubmed - other

  • Comprehensive desmosome mutation analysis in north americans with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy.

    den Haan AD, Tan BY, Zikusoka MN, Lladó LI, Jain R, Daly A, Tichnell C, James C, Amat-Alarcon N, Abraham T, Russell SD, Bluemke DA, Calkins H, Dalal D and Judge DP

    Department of Medicine/Cardiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

    Background: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C) is an inherited disorder typically caused by mutations in components of the cardiac desmosome. The prevalence and significance of desmosome mutations among patients with ARVD/C in North America have not been described previously. We report comprehensive desmosome genetic analysis for 100 North Americans with clinically confirmed or suspected ARVD/C.

    In 82 individuals with ARVD/C and 18 people with suspected ARVD/C, DNA sequence analysis was performed on PKP2, DSG2, DSP, DSC2, and JUP. In those with ARVD/C, 52% harbored a desmosome mutation. A majority of these mutations occurred in PKP2. Notably, 3 of the individuals studied have a mutation in more than 1 gene. Patients with a desmosome mutation were more likely to have experienced ventricular tachycardia (73% versus 44%), and they presented at a younger age (33 versus 41 years) compared with those without a desmosome mutation. Men with ARVD/C were more likely than women to carry a desmosome mutation (63% versus 38%). A mutation was identified in 5 of 18 patients (28%) with suspected ARVD. In this smaller subgroup, there were no significant phenotypic differences identified between individuals with a desmosome mutation compared with those without a mutation.

    Conclusions: Our study shows that in 52% of North Americans with ARVD/C a mutation in one of the cardiac desmosome genes can be identified. Compared with those without a desmosome gene mutation, individuals with a desmosome gene mutation had earlier-onset ARVD/C and were more likely to have ventricular tachycardia.

    Funded by: Intramural NIH HHS: ZIA CL090019-01, ZIA EB000072-01; NHLBI NIH HHS: HL088072, R21 HL088072-02; Unspecified: R21 HL088072

    Circulation. Cardiovascular genetics 2009;2;5;428-35

  • Defining the human deubiquitinating enzyme interaction landscape.

    Sowa ME, Bennett EJ, Gygi SP and Harper JW

    Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Deubiquitinating enzymes (Dubs) function to remove covalently attached ubiquitin from proteins, thereby controlling substrate activity and/or abundance. For most Dubs, their functions, targets, and regulation are poorly understood. To systematically investigate Dub function, we initiated a global proteomic analysis of Dubs and their associated protein complexes. This was accomplished through the development of a software platform called CompPASS, which uses unbiased metrics to assign confidence measurements to interactions from parallel nonreciprocal proteomic data sets. We identified 774 candidate interacting proteins associated with 75 Dubs. Using Gene Ontology, interactome topology classification, subcellular localization, and functional studies, we link Dubs to diverse processes, including protein turnover, transcription, RNA processing, DNA damage, and endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation. This work provides the first glimpse into the Dub interaction landscape, places previously unstudied Dubs within putative biological pathways, and identifies previously unknown interactions and protein complexes involved in this increasingly important arm of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway.

    Funded by: NIA NIH HHS: AG085011, R01 AG011085, R01 AG011085-16; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM054137, GM67945, R01 GM054137, R01 GM054137-14, R01 GM067945

    Cell 2009;138;2;389-403

  • Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein-1 effects on junctional plakoglobin and induction of a cadherin switch.

    Shair KH, Schnegg CI and Raab-Traub N

    Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

    Latent membrane protein-1 (LMP1) is considered the major oncoprotein of Epstein-Barr virus and is frequently expressed in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). LMP1 promotes growth and migration of epithelial cells, and the loss of plakoglobin has been identified as a contributing factor to LMP1-induced migration. Plakoglobin is a junctional protein that can also serve as a transcription factor in Tcf/Lef signaling. To determine the effects of LMP1 on the molecular and functional properties of plakoglobin, LMP1 was overexpressed in the NPC cell line C666-1. LMP1 did not affect plakoglobin stability but did decrease plakoglobin transcription. The resultant decreased levels of nuclear plakoglobin did not affect Tcf/Lef activity or the amount of plakoglobin bound to Tcf4. Although LMP1 induced and stabilized beta-catenin, a protein with common binding partners to plakoglobin, the loss of plakoglobin did not affect its association with Tcf4. However, LMP1 did induce a cadherin switch from E- to N-cadherin, a process involved in cancer progression, and enhanced the association of junctional beta-catenin with N-cadherin. LMP1 decreased overall levels of junctional plakoglobin but the remaining junctional plakoglobin was found associated with the induced N-cadherin. This increased association of junctional plakoglobin with N-cadherin was a distinguishing feature of LMP1-expressing cells that have reduced migration due to restoration of plakoglobin. Low levels of plakoglobin were also detected in human NPC tissues. These findings reveal that the effects of LMP1 on junctional plakoglobin and the initiation of a cadherin switch likely contribute to metastasis of NPC.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 32979, CA103634, R01 CA032979, R01 CA032979-25, R01 CA103634, R01 CA103634-05

    Cancer research 2009;69;14;5734-42

  • Low to high Ca2+ -switch causes phosphorylation and association of desmocollin 3 with plakoglobin and desmoglein 3 in cultured keratinocytes.

    Aoyama Y, Yamamoto Y, Yamaguchi F and Kitajima Y

    Department of Dermatology, Gifu University School of Medicine, Gifu City, Japan.

    Although desmocollins (Dscs) and desmogleins (Dsgs) are known to be bound to each other to form desmosomes, neither their interactions nor regulations that occur in human keratinocytes grown in low and high Ca2+medium has been determined. In this study, we investigated whether Dsc3 interacts with Dsg3 in a cell line of human squamous cell carcinoma keratinocytes (DJM-1) grown in low (0.05 mm) or high (1.27 mm) Ca2+ medium. Anti-Dsc3 monoclonal antibody did not co-immunoprecipitate Dsg3 nor plakoglobin with Dsc3 in low Ca2+ culture, whereas it co-immunoprecipitated plakoglobin already at 10 min and Dsg3 at 60 min after Ca2+ -switch in association with Dsc3 phosphorylation at serine residues. These results suggest that both the binding of Dsc3 to plakoglobin and Dsc3 phosphorylation are involved in Dsc3 binding to Dsg3 during Ca2+ -induced desmosome assembly.

    Experimental dermatology 2009;18;4;404-8

  • An empirical framework for binary interactome mapping.

    Venkatesan K, Rual JF, Vazquez A, Stelzl U, Lemmens I, Hirozane-Kishikawa T, Hao T, Zenkner M, Xin X, Goh KI, Yildirim MA, Simonis N, Heinzmann K, Gebreab F, Sahalie JM, Cevik S, Simon C, de Smet AS, Dann E, Smolyar A, Vinayagam A, Yu H, Szeto D, Borick H, Dricot A, Klitgord N, Murray RR, Lin C, Lalowski M, Timm J, Rau K, Boone C, Braun P, Cusick ME, Roth FP, Hill DE, Tavernier J, Wanker EE, Barabási AL and Vidal M

    Center for Cancer Systems Biology and Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 1 Jimmy Fund Way, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Several attempts have been made to systematically map protein-protein interaction, or 'interactome', networks. However, it remains difficult to assess the quality and coverage of existing data sets. Here we describe a framework that uses an empirically-based approach to rigorously dissect quality parameters of currently available human interactome maps. Our results indicate that high-throughput yeast two-hybrid (HT-Y2H) interactions for human proteins are more precise than literature-curated interactions supported by a single publication, suggesting that HT-Y2H is suitable to map a significant portion of the human interactome. We estimate that the human interactome contains approximately 130,000 binary interactions, most of which remain to be mapped. Similar to estimates of DNA sequence data quality and genome size early in the Human Genome Project, estimates of protein interaction data quality and interactome size are crucial to establish the magnitude of the task of comprehensive human interactome mapping and to elucidate a path toward this goal.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 5U01 CA 105423, 5U54 CA 112952, T32 CA 09361, T32 CA009361, U01 CA105423, U54 CA112952, U56 CA 113004, U56 CA113004; NHGRI NIH HHS: 2R01 HG 001715, 5P50 HG 004233, P50 HG004233, P50 HG004233-03, R01 HG001715, R01 HG001715-12; NIAID NIH HHS: U01 AI 070499-01

    Nature methods 2009;6;1;83-90

  • Disparate effects of different mutations in plakoglobin on cell mechanical behavior.

    Huang H, Asimaki A, Lo D, McKenna W and Saffitz J

    Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

    Mutations in genes encoding desmosomal proteins have been implicated in the pathogenesis of heart and skin diseases. This has led to the hypothesis that defective cell-cell adhesion is the underlying cause of injury in tissues that repeatedly bear high mechanical loads. In this study, we examined the effects of two different mutations in plakoglobin on cell migration, stiffness, and adhesion. One is a C-terminal mutation causing Naxos disease, a recessive syndrome of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) and abnormal skin and hair. The other is an N-terminal mutation causing dominant inheritance of ARVC without cutaneous abnormalities. To assess the effects of plakoglobin mutations on a broad range of cell mechanical behavior, we characterized a model system consisting of stably transfected HEK cells which are particularly well suited for analyses of cell migration and adhesion. Both mutations increased the speed of wound healing which appeared to be related to increased cell motility rather than increased cell proliferation. However, the C-terminal mutation led to dramatically decreased cell-cell adhesion, whereas the N-terminal mutation caused a decrease in cell stiffness. These results indicate that different mutations in plakoglobin have markedly disparate effects on cell mechanical behavior, suggesting complex biomechanical roles for this protein.

    Funded by: NIBIB NIH HHS: EB004646, R21 EB004646, R21 EB004646-02

    Cell motility and the cytoskeleton 2008;65;12;964-78

  • Reduced expression of E-cadherin/catenin complex in hepatocellular carcinomas.

    Zhai B, Yan HX, Liu SQ, Chen L, Wu MC and Wang HY

    Department of Ultrasonic Intervention, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200438, China.

    Aim: To examine the immunoreactivity of E-cadherin and four subtypes of catenin family in human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and to investigate the correlation between expression of E-cadherin/catenin complex and clinicopathologic parameters of HCC patients.

    Methods: An immunohistochemical study for E-cadherin and catenins was performed on 97 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens of HCC.

    Results: Reduced expression of E-cadherin, alpha-, beta-, gamma-catenin and p120 was observed in 69%, 76%, 63%, 71% and 73%, respectively. Both expressions of E-cadherin and catenin components were significantly correlated with tumor grade (P = 0.000). It showed significant difference between expression of catenin members and tumor stage (P = 0.003, P = 0.017, P = 0.007 and P = 0.000, respectively). The reduced expression of E-cadherin in HCCs was significantly correlated with intrahepatic metastasis (IM) and capsular invasion (P = 0.008, P = 0.03, respectively). A close correlation was also observed between the expression of catenins and the tumor size (P = 0.002, P = 0.034, P = 0.016 and P = 0.000, respectively). In addition, the expression of each catenin was found correlated with IM (P = 0.012, P = 0.049, P = 0.026 and P = 0.014, respectively). No statistically significant difference was observed between the expression level of E-cadherin/catenin complex and lymph node permission, vascular invasion and satellite nodules. Interestingly, only expression of p120 showed correlation with AFP value (P = 0.035). The expression of E-cadherin was consistent with alpha-, beta-, gamma-catenin and p120 expression (P = 0.000). Finally, the abnormal expression of E-cadherin/catenin complex was significantly associated with patients' survival (P = 0.0253, P = 0.0052, P = 0.003, P = 0.0105 and P = 0.0016, respectively). Nevertheless, no component of E-cadherin/catenin complex was the independent prognostic factor of HCC patients.

    Conclusion: Down-regulated expressions of E-cadherin, catenins and p120 occur frequently in HCCs and contribute to the progression and development of tumor. It may be more exact and valuable to detect the co-expression of E-cadherin/catenin complex than to explore one of them in predicting tumor invasion, metastasis and patient's survival.

    World journal of gastroenterology 2008;14;37;5665-73

  • Reduced E-cadherin expression correlates with disease progression in Paget's disease of the vulva but not Paget's disease of the breast.

    Ellis PE, Cano SD, Fear M, Kelsell DP, Ghali L, Crow JC, Perrett CW and MacLean AB

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Free and University College Medical School (Hampstead Campus), University College London, London, UK. peellis@hotmail.com

    The growth and metastasis of many cancers is due in part to loss of cell-cell adhesion. E-cadherin, plakoglobin and beta-catenin are important in cell adhesion. Our aim was to examine the presence of these molecules in Paget's disease of the vulva and Paget's disease of the breast, and to correlate any differences in their expression with the presence of invasive disease or an underlying carcinoma. Sixty-three archival cases of Paget's disease of the vulva, including eight associated with invasive disease, and 23 archival cases of Paget's disease of breast, which included 10 cases with ductal carcinoma in situ alone, four cases with both ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive carcinoma, and five cases with underlying invasive carcinoma alone, were analysed immunohistochemically for expression of E-cadherin, plakoglobin and beta-catenin proteins. The respective mRNAs were also detected by in situ hybridisation using digoxigenin-labelled cRNA probes. Seventy-six percent (41/54) of Paget's disease of vulva cases had >50% of Paget cells expressing the E-cadherin protein, compared with 28 % (2/7) of Paget's disease vulva with invasive disease. This result was significant, with a P-value of 0.039. Twenty-five percent (14/55) of the intraepidermal Paget's disease of the vulva cases had >50% of Paget cells expressing the plakoglobin protein, compared with 12% (1/8) of cases of Paget's disease of vulva with invasive disease, and for beta-catenin, 9% (5/55) of the non-invasive Paget's disease of the vulva had >50% of Paget cells expressing beta-catenin, compared with 12% (1/8) of Paget's disease of the vulva cases with invasive disease. Sixty-five percent (15/23) of the Paget's disease of the breast had >50% of Paget cells expressing E-cadherin, and for plakoglobin and beta-catenin it was 17% (4/23) and 28% (6/21), respectively. The results were not significant. The results suggest that reduced expression of E-cadherin may have a role to play in the pathogenesis of invasive Paget's disease of the vulva. Abnormal plakoglobin expression may be involved in the formation of some cases of Paget's of the vulva and the breast.

    Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc 2008;21;10;1192-9

  • DNMT3A and DNMT3B mediate autocrine hGH repression of plakoglobin gene transcription and consequent phenotypic conversion of mammary carcinoma cells.

    Shafiei F, Rahnama F, Pawella L, Mitchell MD, Gluckman PD and Lobie PE

    National Research Centre for Growth and Development and the Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

    Directed by microarray analyses, we report that autocrine human growth hormone (hGH) increased the mRNA and protein expression of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), DNMT3A and DNMT3B in mammary carcinoma cells. Autocrine hGH stimulation of DNMT3A and DNMT3B expression was mediated by JAK2 and Src kinases, and treatment of mammary carcinoma cells with the DNMT inhibitor, 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (AZA), abrogated autocrine hGH-stimulated cellular proliferation, apoptosis and anchorage-independent growth. AZA reversed the epitheliomesenchymal transition of mammary carcinoma cells induced by autocrine hGH, to an epithelioid morphology and abrogated cell migration stimulated by autocrine hGH. Autocrine hGH-stimulated hypermethylation of the first exon of the PLAKOGLOBIN gene and AZA abrogated the ability of autocrine hGH to repress plakoglobin gene transcription. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated depletion of the individual DNMT molecules did not release autocrine hGH repression of PLAKOGLOBIN promoter activity nor did individual DNMT depletion affect autocrine hGH-stimulated migration. However, concomitant siRNA-mediated depletion of both DNMT3A and DNMT3B abrogated hypermethylation of the PLAKOGLOBIN gene stimulated by autocrine hGH and subsequent repression of plakoglobin gene transcription and increased cell migration. Thus, the autocrine hGH-stimulated increases in DNMT3A and DNMT3B expression mediate repression of plakoglobin gene transcription by direct hypermethylation of its promoter and consequent phenotypic conversion of mammary carcinoma cells. Autocrine hGH, therefore, utilizes DNA methylation as a mechanism to exert its oncogenic effects in mammary carcinoma cells.

    Oncogene 2008;27;18;2602-12

  • Immunohistochemical analysis of gamma catenin in Wilms' tumors.

    Basta-Jovanovic G, Gvozdenovic E, Dimitrijevic I, Brasanac D, Jovanovic M, Kalezic N, Baralic I, Radojevic-Skodric S and Arsic D

    Institute of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.

    The aim of our study was to investigate the expression of gamma-catenin in normal kidney and in Wilms' tumor by immunohistochemistry and to correlate the results with tumor stage, histological type, and prognostic group. We investigated 28 cases of Wilms' tumor, 2 Wilms' tumor metastases in lungs, and 1 specimen of normal renal tissue. Expression of gamma-catenin was detected in 14 cases. There was a weak inverse relationship between gamma-catenin expression and tumor stage. Expression of gamma-catenin was detected in various histologic types of Wilms' tumor, but there was no statistically significant correlation, except in cases with diffuse anaplasia that were negative. In 2 metastatic cases and in the case of bilateral Wilms' tumor gamma-catenin immunostaining was not observed Our findings suggest an absence of strong correlation between the loss of gamma-catenin and unfavorable outcome.

    Fetal and pediatric pathology 2008;27;2;63-70

  • A novel dominant mutation in plakoglobin causes arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

    Asimaki A, Syrris P, Wichter T, Matthias P, Saffitz JE and McKenna WJ

    Department of Medicine, The Heart Hospital, University College London Hospitals, London, National Health Service Trust, UK.

    Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an inherited disorder associated with arrhythmias and sudden death. A recessive mutation in the gene encoding plakoglobin has been shown to cause Naxos disease, a cardiocutaneous syndrome characterized by ARVC and abnormalities of hair and skin. Here, we report, for the first time, a dominant mutation in the gene encoding plakoglobin in a German family with ARVC but no cutaneous abnormalities. The mutation (S39_K40insS) is predicted to insert an extra serine residue at position 39 in the N-terminus of plakoglobin. Analysis of a biopsy sample of the right ventricle from the proband showed markedly decreased localization of plakoglobin, desmoplakin, and connexin43 at intercalated discs in cardiac myocytes. A yeast-two-hybrid screen revealed that the mutant protein established novel interactions with histidine-rich calcium-binding protein and TGF beta induced apoptosis protein 2. Immunoblotting and confocal microscopy in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cell lines transfected to stably express either wild-type or mutant plakoglobin protein showed that the mutant protein was apparently ubiquitylated and was preferentially located in the cytoplasm, suggesting that the S39_K40insS mutation may increase plakoglobin turnover via proteasomal degradation. HEK293 cells expressing mutant plakoglobin also showed higher rates of proliferation and lower rates of apoptosis than did cells expressing the wild-type protein. Electron microscopy showed smaller and fewer desmosomes in cells expressing mutant plakoglobin. Taken together, these observations suggest that the S39_K40insS mutation affects the structure and distribution of mechanical and electrical cell junctions and could interfere with regulatory mechanisms mediated by Wnt-signaling pathways. These results implicate novel molecular mechanisms in the pathogenesis of ARVC.

    American journal of human genetics 2007;81;5;964-73

  • Aberrant activation of gamma-catenin promotes genomic instability and oncogenic effects during tumor progression.

    Pan H, Gao F, Papageorgis P, Abdolmaleky HM, Faller DV and Thiagalingam S

    Department of Medicine (Genetics Program and Cancer Research Center), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.

    Gamma-catenin (plakoglobin) exists in cells either as a component of adherens junctions, along with beta-catenin and alpha-catenin, or in association with desmoplakin in desmosomes, which are in turn coupled to the cytoskeleton linking to the plasma membrane. Although gamma-catenin overexpression is observed in many cancers, the molecular basis of its contribution to tumor progression remains unclear. In this study, we examined gamma-catenin overexpression-mediated effects leading to altered regulation of effector genes such as PTTG and c-Myc, as well as differential activation of signaling pathways. We found that overexpression of gamma-catenin caused: (1) a reduction in E-cadherin and corresponding increase in vimentin levels concomitant with increased cell mobility and migration; (2) enhancement in the levels of phosphorylated Akt and Erk in the presence of EGF and (3) an increase in PTTG and c-Myc protein levels, which are likely to accelerate chromosomal instability and uncontrolled proliferation, respectively, in the affected cells. These effects resulting from overexpression of gamma-catenin were further validated in converse experiments with the aid of siRNA knockdown of the endogenous gamma-catenin gene. In conclusion, our studies provide a molecular basis for the promotion of genomic instability and the oncogenic effects due to overexpression of gamma-catenin in human cancer.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA101773, CA112102

    Cancer biology & therapy 2007;6;10;1638-43

  • Large-scale mapping of human protein-protein interactions by mass spectrometry.

    Ewing RM, Chu P, Elisma F, Li H, Taylor P, Climie S, McBroom-Cerajewski L, Robinson MD, O'Connor L, Li M, Taylor R, Dharsee M, Ho Y, Heilbut A, Moore L, Zhang S, Ornatsky O, Bukhman YV, Ethier M, Sheng Y, Vasilescu J, Abu-Farha M, Lambert JP, Duewel HS, Stewart II, Kuehl B, Hogue K, Colwill K, Gladwish K, Muskat B, Kinach R, Adams SL, Moran MF, Morin GB, Topaloglou T and Figeys D

    Protana, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Mapping protein-protein interactions is an invaluable tool for understanding protein function. Here, we report the first large-scale study of protein-protein interactions in human cells using a mass spectrometry-based approach. The study maps protein interactions for 338 bait proteins that were selected based on known or suspected disease and functional associations. Large-scale immunoprecipitation of Flag-tagged versions of these proteins followed by LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis resulted in the identification of 24,540 potential protein interactions. False positives and redundant hits were filtered out using empirical criteria and a calculated interaction confidence score, producing a data set of 6463 interactions between 2235 distinct proteins. This data set was further cross-validated using previously published and predicted human protein interactions. In-depth mining of the data set shows that it represents a valuable source of novel protein-protein interactions with relevance to human diseases. In addition, via our preliminary analysis, we report many novel protein interactions and pathway associations.

    Molecular systems biology 2007;3;89

  • Global, in vivo, and site-specific phosphorylation dynamics in signaling networks.

    Olsen JV, Blagoev B, Gnad F, Macek B, Kumar C, Mortensen P and Mann M

    Center for Experimental BioInformatics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, DK-5230 Odense, Denmark.

    Cell signaling mechanisms often transmit information via posttranslational protein modifications, most importantly reversible protein phosphorylation. Here we develop and apply a general mass spectrometric technology for identification and quantitation of phosphorylation sites as a function of stimulus, time, and subcellular location. We have detected 6,600 phosphorylation sites on 2,244 proteins and have determined their temporal dynamics after stimulating HeLa cells with epidermal growth factor (EGF) and recorded them in the Phosida database. Fourteen percent of phosphorylation sites are modulated at least 2-fold by EGF, and these were classified by their temporal profiles. Surprisingly, a majority of proteins contain multiple phosphorylation sites showing different kinetics, suggesting that they serve as platforms for integrating signals. In addition to protein kinase cascades, the targets of reversible phosphorylation include ubiquitin ligases, guanine nucleotide exchange factors, and at least 46 different transcriptional regulators. The dynamic phosphoproteome provides a missing link in a global, integrative view of cellular regulation.

    Cell 2006;127;3;635-48

  • Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is required for normal development of skin and thymus.

    Kuraguchi M, Wang XP, Bronson RT, Rothenberg R, Ohene-Baah NY, Lund JJ, Kucherlapati M, Maas RL and Kucherlapati R

    Harvard-Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

    The tumor suppressor gene Apc (adenomatous polyposis coli) is a member of the Wnt signaling pathway that is involved in development and tumorigenesis. Heterozygous knockout mice for Apc have a tumor predisposition phenotype and homozygosity leads to embryonic lethality. To understand the role of Apc in development we generated a floxed allele. These mice were mated with a strain carrying Cre recombinase under the control of the human Keratin 14 (K14) promoter, which is active in basal cells of epidermis and other stratified epithelia. Mice homozygous for the floxed allele that also carry the K14-cre transgene were viable but had stunted growth and died before weaning. Histological and immunochemical examinations revealed that K14-cre-mediated Apc loss resulted in aberrant growth in many ectodermally derived squamous epithelia, including hair follicles, teeth, and oral and corneal epithelia. In addition, squamous metaplasia was observed in various epithelial-derived tissues, including the thymus. The aberrant growth of hair follicles and other appendages as well as the thymic abnormalities in K14-cre; Apc(CKO/CKO) mice suggest the Apc gene is crucial in embryonic cells to specify epithelial cell fates in organs that require epithelial-mesenchymal interactions for their development.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA-084301, U01 CA084301; NIDCR NIH HHS: DE-11697, DE-16140, R01 DE011697, R01 DE016140, R37 DE011697; NIEHS NIH HHS: ES-11040, U01 ES011040

    PLoS genetics 2006;2;9;e146

  • Plakoglobin is differentially expressed in alveolar and embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma and is regulated by DNA methylation and histone acetylation.

    Gastaldi T, Bonvini P, Sartori F, Marrone A, Iolascon A and Rosolen A

    Clinica di Oncoematologia Pediatrica, Azienda Ospedaliera-Università di Padova, Via Giustiniani 1, 35128 Padova, Italy.

    Plakoglobin (gamma-catenin) and beta-catenin are pivotal components of cell-cell adherent junctions that link cadherin receptors to the actin cytoskeleton. Whereas beta-catenin overexpression induces cell proliferation and tumor formation, plakoglobin induces tumor suppressor activity. We investigated the expression of plakoglobin in alveolar (ARMS) and embryonal (ERMS) rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cell lines and tumors, and found that plakoglobin is present both in the cytoplasm and in the nucleus of ERMS cells, whereas it is absent or detectable at extremely low levels in ARMS. As gene silencing can be mediated by methylation and/or deacetylation of promoter regions, we assessed the effects of the DNA demethylating agent 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5AzadC) and of the histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A (TSA), and obtained restoration of plakoglobin expression in ARMS cells cultivated in the presence of 5AzadC and TSA. By methylation-specific PCR, ARMS cells were shown to contain methylated CpG dinucleotides in CpG islands located around the transcriptional start site of one or both alleles, whereas ERMS cells did not. Furthermore, we demonstrated that promoter regions (P1-P3) of plakoglobin gene were associated with hypoacetylated H4 histone in ARMS cells RH4, suggesting that aberrant DNA methylation of the 5' CpG island and histone deacetylation play key roles in silencing the plakoglobin gene. These results demonstrate that plakoglobin is differentially expressed in ARMS and ERMS and that its expression depends on the methylation and acetylation status of the gene.

    Carcinogenesis 2006;27;9;1758-67

  • Presenilin-1 interacts with plakoglobin and enhances plakoglobin-Tcf-4 association. Implications for the regulation of beta-catenin/Tcf-4-dependent transcription.

    Raurell I, Castaño J, Francí C, García de Herreros A and Duñach M

    Unitat de Biofísica, Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain.

    Alzheimer disease-linked Presenilin-1 (PS1) is a negative modulator of beta-catenin/Tcf-4 activity. However, the mechanism underlying this effect is not well understood. We show here that the effects of PS1 on the activity of this complex in epithelial cells are independent of its gamma-secretase activity and its interaction with beta-catenin. As presented in this report PS1 also binds plakoglobin with similar affinity as beta-catenin, although this interaction does not involve equivalent residues in the two catenins. Moreover, PS1 association with plakoglobin enhances the interaction of this molecule with Tcf-4 and prevents its binding to DNA. These effects were observed with the unprocessed form of PS1, which has higher affinity for plakoglobin and beta-catenin than processed PS1. These results provide a new explanation for the effects of PS1 on gene transcription mediated by beta-catenin in epithelial cells.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2006;281;3;1401-11

  • Catenin expression in T1/2 carcinomas of the floor of the mouth.

    Fillies T, Buerger H, Gaertner C, August C, Brandt B, Joos U and Werkmeister R

    Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Muenster, Waldeyerstr. 30, D-48129 Münster, Germany. fillies@uni-muenster.de

    Reduction of the expression of catenin is a crucial step in the pathogenesis, progression and prognosis of many epithelial cancers including squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). Catenin expression in oral carcinomas was evaluated in relation to clinico-pathological features in order to determine its value as a prognostic marker. Eighty-five patients with histologically proven T1/2 squamous cell carcinoma of the oral floor who underwent surgical treatment were eligible for the study. A tissue microarray consisting of multiple representative tissue cores of each carcinoma was composed. The expression levels of alpha, beta and gamma-catenins were determined immunohistologically. Correlation between clinical features and the expression of catenin proteins was evaluated statistically using Kaplan-Meier curves, log-rank tests and chi(2)-tests. Loss of alpha-catenin expression in carcinoma of the floor of the mouth correlated significantly with poor prognosis (P=0.05). Conversely, significantly reduced rates of lymph-node metastases were observed in alpha- and beta-catenin-positive T1 and T2 SCCs. Loss of gamma-catenin expression indicated a reduced survival rate in nodal-negative tumours (P=0.02). Catenin expression in carcinomas of the floor of the mouth seems to be a predictive parameter in the prognosis of T1 and T2 SSCs.

    International journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery 2005;34;8;907-11

  • Towards a proteome-scale map of the human protein-protein interaction network.

    Rual JF, Venkatesan K, Hao T, Hirozane-Kishikawa T, Dricot A, Li N, Berriz GF, Gibbons FD, Dreze M, Ayivi-Guedehoussou N, Klitgord N, Simon C, Boxem M, Milstein S, Rosenberg J, Goldberg DS, Zhang LV, Wong SL, Franklin G, Li S, Albala JS, Lim J, Fraughton C, Llamosas E, Cevik S, Bex C, Lamesch P, Sikorski RS, Vandenhaute J, Zoghbi HY, Smolyar A, Bosak S, Sequerra R, Doucette-Stamm L, Cusick ME, Hill DE, Roth FP and Vidal M

    Center for Cancer Systems Biology and Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    Systematic mapping of protein-protein interactions, or 'interactome' mapping, was initiated in model organisms, starting with defined biological processes and then expanding to the scale of the proteome. Although far from complete, such maps have revealed global topological and dynamic features of interactome networks that relate to known biological properties, suggesting that a human interactome map will provide insight into development and disease mechanisms at a systems level. Here we describe an initial version of a proteome-scale map of human binary protein-protein interactions. Using a stringent, high-throughput yeast two-hybrid system, we tested pairwise interactions among the products of approximately 8,100 currently available Gateway-cloned open reading frames and detected approximately 2,800 interactions. This data set, called CCSB-HI1, has a verification rate of approximately 78% as revealed by an independent co-affinity purification assay, and correlates significantly with other biological attributes. The CCSB-HI1 data set increases by approximately 70% the set of available binary interactions within the tested space and reveals more than 300 new connections to over 100 disease-associated proteins. This work represents an important step towards a systematic and comprehensive human interactome project.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R33 CA132073; NHGRI NIH HHS: P50 HG004233, R01 HG001715, RC4 HG006066, U01 HG001715; NHLBI NIH HHS: U01 HL098166

    Nature 2005;437;7062;1173-8

  • A human protein-protein interaction network: a resource for annotating the proteome.

    Stelzl U, Worm U, Lalowski M, Haenig C, Brembeck FH, Goehler H, Stroedicke M, Zenkner M, Schoenherr A, Koeppen S, Timm J, Mintzlaff S, Abraham C, Bock N, Kietzmann S, Goedde A, Toksöz E, Droege A, Krobitsch S, Korn B, Birchmeier W, Lehrach H and Wanker EE

    Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, 13092 Berlin-Buch, Germany.

    Protein-protein interaction maps provide a valuable framework for a better understanding of the functional organization of the proteome. To detect interacting pairs of human proteins systematically, a protein matrix of 4456 baits and 5632 preys was screened by automated yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) interaction mating. We identified 3186 mostly novel interactions among 1705 proteins, resulting in a large, highly connected network. Independent pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation assays validated the overall quality of the Y2H interactions. Using topological and GO criteria, a scoring system was developed to define 911 high-confidence interactions among 401 proteins. Furthermore, the network was searched for interactions linking uncharacterized gene products and human disease proteins to regulatory cellular pathways. Two novel Axin-1 interactions were validated experimentally, characterizing ANP32A and CRMP1 as modulators of Wnt signaling. Systematic human protein interaction screens can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of protein function and cellular processes.

    Cell 2005;122;6;957-68

  • Time-resolved mass spectrometry of tyrosine phosphorylation sites in the epidermal growth factor receptor signaling network reveals dynamic modules.

    Zhang Y, Wolf-Yadlin A, Ross PL, Pappin DJ, Rush J, Lauffenburger DA and White FM

    Biological Engineering Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technnology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

    Ligand binding to cell surface receptors initiates a cascade of signaling events regulated by dynamic phosphorylation events on a multitude of pathway proteins. Quantitative features, including intensity, timing, and duration of phosphorylation of particular residues, may play a role in determining cellular response, but experimental data required for analysis of these features have not previously been available. To understand the dynamic operation of signaling cascades, we have developed a method enabling the simultaneous quantification of tyrosine phosphorylation of specific residues on dozens of key proteins in a time-resolved manner, downstream of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation. Tryptic peptides from four different EGFR stimulation time points were labeled with four isoforms of the iTRAQ reagent to enable downstream quantification. After mixing of the labeled samples, tyrosine-phosphorylated peptides were immunoprecipitated with an anti-phosphotyrosine antibody and further enriched by IMAC before LC/MS/MS analysis. Database searching and manual confirmation of peptide phosphorylation site assignments led to the identification of 78 tyrosine phosphorylation sites on 58 proteins from a single analysis. Replicate analyses of a separate biological sample provided both validation of this first data set and identification of 26 additional tyrosine phosphorylation sites and 18 additional proteins. iTRAQ fragment ion ratios provided time course phosphorylation profiles for each site. The data set of quantitative temporal phosphorylation profiles was further characterized by self-organizing maps, which resulted in identification of several cohorts of tyrosine residues exhibiting self-similar temporal phosphorylation profiles, operationally defining dynamic modules in the EGFR signaling network consistent with particular cellular processes. The presence of novel proteins and associated tyrosine phosphorylation sites within these modules indicates additional components of this network and potentially localizes the topological action of these proteins. Additional analysis and modeling of the data generated in this study are likely to yield more sophisticated models of receptor tyrosine kinase-initiated signal transduction, trafficking, and regulation.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA96504; NIDDK NIH HHS: DK070172, DK42816; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM68762

    Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP 2005;4;9;1240-50

  • Restoration of plakoglobin expression in bladder carcinoma cell lines suppresses cell migration and tumorigenic potential.

    Rieger-Christ KM, Ng L, Hanley RS, Durrani O, Ma H, Yee AS, Libertino JA and Summerhayes IC

    Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Robert E Wise MD Research and Education Institute, 31 Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01805, USA.

    The reduction or loss of plakoglobin expression in late-stage bladder cancer has been correlated with poor survival where upregulation of this catenin member by histone deacetylase inhibitors has been shown to accompany tumour suppression in an in vivo model. In this study, we directly addressed the question of the role of plakoglobin in bladder tumorigenesis following restoration, or knockdown of expression in bladder carcinoma cell lines. Restoration of plakoglobin expression resulted in a reduction in migration and suppression of tumorigenic potential in vivo. Immunocytochemistry revealed cytoplasmic and membranous localisation of plakoglobin in transfectants with < 1% of cells displaying detectable nuclear localisation of plakoglobin. siRNA knockdown experiments targeting plakoglobin, revealed enhanced migration in all cell lines in the presence and absence of E-cadherin expression. In bladder cell lines expressing low levels of plakoglobin and desmoglein-2, elevated levels of desmoglein-2 were detected following restoration of plakoglobin expression in transfected cell lines. Analysis of wnt signalling revealed no activation event associated with plakoglobin expression in the bladder model. These results show that plakoglobin acts as a tumour suppressor gene in bladder carcinoma cells and the silencing of plakoglobin gene expression in late-stage bladder cancer is a primary event in tumour progression.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: 1DK59400, R01 DK059400

    British journal of cancer 2005;92;12;2153-9

  • Functional Loss of the gamma-catenin gene through epigenetic and genetic pathways in human prostate cancer.

    Shiina H, Breault JE, Basset WW, Enokida H, Urakami S, Li LC, Okino ST, Deguchi M, Kaneuchi M, Terashima M, Yoneda T, Shigeno K, Carroll PR, Igawa M and Dahiya R

    Department of Urology, Shimane University School of Medicine, Izumo, Japan.

    Gamma-catenin is a cell adhesion molecule and a candidate mediator of Wnt signal transduction. We hypothesized that impaired regulation of gamma-catenin through genetic and epigenetic pathways is associated with the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. To test this hypothesis, cytosine-phosphate-guanine methylation, loss of heterozygosity (LOH), and mutation status of the gamma-catenin gene were analyzed in cultured prostate cancer cell lines, 180 localized prostate cancers, 69 benign prostatic hyperplasias, and 11 hormone refractory prostate cancers (HRPC). In prostate cancer cell lines (DuPro, LNCaP, ND-1, and PC3), gamma-catenin mRNA transcripts were increased after 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment. In localized prostate cancer, gamma-catenin expression was lower but prevalence of gamma-catenin methylation was higher compared with benign prostatic hyperplasia. However, gamma-catenin methylation did not correlate with Gleason sum, pT category, or capsular penetration. Among localized prostate cancers with positive gamma-catenin methylation, the presence of LOH at chromosome 17q21 was closely related to down-regulation of gamma-catenin mRNA expression. The gamma-catenin mutations were not found in localized prostate cancers, whereas six mutations were found in five HRPCs within or close to the GSK-3beta consensus motif phosphorylation site, among which four HRPCs showed strong nuclear gamma-catenin accumulation. In these four HRPCs, Bcl-2 expression was increased, whereas the target of the Wnt signal, c-myc, was only expressed in one HRPC. Therefore, although epigenetic gamma-catenin methylation is an early event in the development of prostate cancer, simultaneous events of epigenetic cytosine-phosphate-guanine methylation and genetic LOH may be responsible for functional loss of gamma-catenin. The gamma-catenin mutation related to Bcl-2 overexpression has a significant effect on the pathogenesis of HRPC. This is the first report to characterize the epigenetic and genetic regulation of gamma-catenin in human prostate cancer.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01CA101844; NIA NIH HHS: R01AG21418; NIDDK NIH HHS: T32DK07790

    Cancer research 2005;65;6;2130-8

  • Methylation of the gamma-catenin gene is associated with poor prognosis of renal cell carcinoma.

    Breault JE, Shiina H, Igawa M, Ribeiro-Filho LA, Deguchi M, Enokida H, Urakami S, Terashima M, Nakagawa M, Kane CJ, Carroll PR and Dahiya R

    Department of Urology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of California at San Francisco, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.

    Purpose: Gamma-catenin is a cell adhesion protein, and its functional loss is associated with tumor invasion and metastasis. We hypothesize that (1) promoter CpG methylation regulates the expression and function of the gamma-catenin gene in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and (2) methylation of the gamma-catenin gene is associated with poor prognosis of RCC. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed the CpG methylation status of the gamma-catenin gene and its correlation with clinical outcome in RCC.

    Genomic DNA and total RNA were extracted from three renal cancer cell lines (A498, Caki-1, and Caki-2) and 54 RCC tissue samples with their corresponding normal kidney tissue samples. Expression of gamma-catenin gene was analyzed by reverse transcription-PCR and immunostaining. Promoter methylation was analyzed by two different methylation-specific PCR (MSP-A and MSP-B), and the results were verified by DNA sequencing.

    Results: The demethylating agent (5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine) increased levels of mRNA transcript of the gamma-catenin gene in three renal cancer cell lines. Gamma-catenin mRNA and protein expression were significantly reduced in RCC samples compared with normal kidney samples, respectively (P < 0.05). MSP-A and MSP-B bands were detected in 45 of 54 (83.3%) and 49 of 54 (90.7%) RCC samples, respectively. In normal kidney, weak products of MSP-A and MSP-B were detected in 5 of 54 (9.3%) and 6 of 54 (11.1%) samples, respectively. Likewise, both MSP-A and MSP-B ratios were significantly higher in RCC samples compared with normal kidney samples, respectively (P < 0.01). Multivariate analysis revealed that the MSP-B ratio was a powerful and independent predictor superior to nuclear grade and Robson stage with respect to survival and disease progression (P = 0.029 and 0.0071, respectively). No mutations in the NH(2)-terminal region of gamma-catenin were found in this study.

    Conclusion: Expression of gamma-catenin is regulated by promoter CpG methylation, and the balance between methylated and unmethylated RCC cell populations could determine its functional role. Because the conventional nuclear grade and/or staging system have some limitations to predict precise clinical outcome, this is the first report demonstrating that promoter CpG methylation of gamma-catenin can be an independent and superior predictor for survival and disease progression.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA 1018447; NIA NIH HHS: R01 AG 21418; NIDDK NIH HHS: T32 DK 07790

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2005;11;2 Pt 1;557-64

  • Functional proteomics mapping of a human signaling pathway.

    Colland F, Jacq X, Trouplin V, Mougin C, Groizeleau C, Hamburger A, Meil A, Wojcik J, Legrain P and Gauthier JM

    Hybrigenics SA, 75014 Paris, France. fcolland@hybrigenics.fr

    Access to the human genome facilitates extensive functional proteomics studies. Here, we present an integrated approach combining large-scale protein interaction mapping, exploration of the interaction network, and cellular functional assays performed on newly identified proteins involved in a human signaling pathway. As a proof of principle, we studied the Smad signaling system, which is regulated by members of the transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) superfamily. We used two-hybrid screening to map Smad signaling protein-protein interactions and to establish a network of 755 interactions, involving 591 proteins, 179 of which were poorly or not annotated. The exploration of such complex interaction databases is improved by the use of PIMRider, a dedicated navigation tool accessible through the Web. The biological meaning of this network is illustrated by the presence of 18 known Smad-associated proteins. Functional assays performed in mammalian cells including siRNA knock-down experiments identified eight novel proteins involved in Smad signaling, thus validating this integrated functional proteomics approach.

    Genome research 2004;14;7;1324-32

  • Gamma-catenin contributes to leukemogenesis induced by AML-associated translocation products by increasing the self-renewal of very primitive progenitor cells.

    Zheng X, Beissert T, Kukoc-Zivojnov N, Puccetti E, Altschmied J, Strolz C, Boehrer S, Gul H, Schneider O, Ottmann OG, Hoelzer D, Henschler R and Ruthardt M

    Medizinische Klinik III/Abteilung Hämatologie, Laboratorium für Experimentelle Hämatolgie, Johan Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany.

    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by the block of differentiation, deregulated apoptosis, and an increased self-renewal of hematopoietic precursors. It is unclear whether the self-renewal of leukemic blasts results from the cumulative effects of blocked differentiation and impaired apoptosis or whether there are mechanisms directly increasing self-renewal. The AML-associated translocation products (AATPs) promyelocytic leukemia/retinoic acid receptor alpha (PML/RAR alpha), promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF)/RAR alpha (X-RAR alpha), and AML-1/ETO block hematopoietic differentiation. The AATPs activate the Wnt signaling by up-regulating gamma-catenin. Activation of the Wnt signaling augments self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Therefore, we investigated how AATPs influence self-renewal of HSCs and evaluated the role of gamma-catenin in the determination of the phenotype of HSCs expressing AATPs. Here we show that the AATPs directly activate the gamma-catenin promoter. The crucial role of gamma-catenin in increasing the self-renewal of HSCs upon expression of AATPs is demonstrated by (i) the abrogation of replating efficiency upon hindrance of gamma-catenin expression through RNA interference, and (ii) the augmentation of replating efficiency of HSCs upon overexpression of gamma-catenin itself. In addition, the inoculation of gamma-catenin-transduced HSCs into irradiated recipient mice establishes the clinical picture of AML. These data provide the first evidence that the aberrant activation of Wnt signaling by the AATP decisively contributes to the pathogenesis of AML.

    Blood 2004;103;9;3535-43

  • Plakoglobin is a new target gene of histone deacetylase in human fibrosarcoma HT1080 cells.

    Shim JS, Kim DH and Kwon HJ

    Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Institute of Bioscience, Sejong University, 98 Kunja-dong, Kwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-747, Korea.

    Histone deacetylase (HDAC) plays a key role in gene expression, by suppressing the transcription of a number of target genes. Identification of such genes is important for deciphering the functional role of HDAC. Here, using cancer gene-focused DNA microarray analysis, we identified plakoglobin as a new target gene of HDAC. Functional inhibition of HDAC by its specific inhibitors induced the expression of plakoglobin by eight-fold in human fibrosarcoma HT1080 cells. However, the expression of beta-catenin, which is closely related to plakoglobin, was not altered, implying the specific function of HDAC in plakoglobin expression. Using antiacetyl-H4 antibody, chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that the distal region (-945 approximately -646) of the promoter of plakoglobin is responsible for the HDAC-mediated repression of the gene. Moreover, the induced expression of plakoglobin by the inhibition of HDAC activated the Tcf/Lef-dependent luciferase reporter gene, a well-known downstream effector of the Wnt signaling pathway. Furthermore, transient transfection of plakoglobin also activated Tcf/Lef reporter gene expression. Taken together, our results demonstrate that plakoglobin is a new target gene governed by HDAC, and that it acts as an oncogene in HT1080 cells.

    Oncogene 2004;23;9;1704-11

  • Plakoglobin (gamma-catenin) has TCF/LEF family-dependent transcriptional activity in beta-catenin-deficient cell line.

    Maeda O, Usami N, Kondo M, Takahashi M, Goto H, Shimokata K, Kusugami K and Sekido Y

    Department of Internal Medicine, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Tsurumai-cho 65, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8560, Japan.

    Beta-catenin is an essential element for the transcriptional activation of target genes in the Wnt signaling cascade and is also a cell adhesion molecule that couples with cadherins. Although plakoglobin (gamma-catenin), a closely related homologue of beta-catenin, is also known to be a cell adhesion molecule, its function as a transcriptional factor has not been revealed in detail. Using a human malignant mesothelioma cell line, NCI-H28, in which we have identified a homozygous deletion of the beta-catenin gene, we studied whether plakoglobin has a T-cell factor/lymphocyte enhancer factor (TCF/LEF) family-dependent transcriptional activity. Transfection with the wild-type plakoglobin expression vector induced accumulation of plakoglobin in the nucleus. Immunoprecipitation assay with cotransfection of plakoglobin and either TCF-4 or LEF-1 detected binding of plakoglobin to TCF-4 or LEF-1. Luciferase reporter assay demonstrated transcriptional activity of the wild-type plakoglobin when transfected with TCF/LEF, although plakoglobin showed less activity than beta-catenin. Exogenous plakoglobin was also shown to promote entrance of exogenous beta-catenin into the nuclei. Furthermore, small interfering RNA directed against plakoglobin suppressed expression of endogenous plakoglobin and its transcriptional activity, suggesting that endogenous plakoglobin has a weak transcriptional activity. These results suggest that plakoglobin can activate the Wnt signaling cascade directly without interaction of beta-catenin, and that plakoglobin has multiple functions as a transcriptional activator and a cell adhesion molecule like beta-catenin.

    Oncogene 2004;23;4;964-72

  • A novel cell-cell junction system: the cortex adhaerens mosaic of lens fiber cells.

    Straub BK, Boda J, Kuhn C, Schnoelzer M, Korf U, Kempf T, Spring H, Hatzfeld M and Franke WW

    Division of Cell Biology, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

    The anucleate prismoid fiber cells of the eye lens are densely packed to form a tissue in which the plasma membranes and their associated cytoplasmic coat form a single giant cell-cell adhesive complex, the cortex adhaerens. Using biochemical and immunoprecipitation methods in various species (cow, pig, rat), in combination with immunolocalization microscopy, we have identified two different major kinds of cortical complex. In one, the transmembrane glycoproteins N-cadherin and cadherin-11 [which also occur in heterotypic ('mixed') complexes] are associated with alpha- and beta-catenin, plakoglobin (proportions variable among species), p120ctn and vinculin. The other complex contains ezrin, periplakin, periaxin and desmoyokin (and so is called the EPPD complex), usually together with moesin, spectrin(s) and plectin. In sections through lens fiber tissue, the short sides of the lens fiber hexagons appear to be enriched in the cadherin-based complexes, whereas the EPPD complexes also occur on the long sides. Moreover, high resolution double-label fluorescence microscopy has revealed, on the short sides, a finer, almost regular mosaicism of blocks comprising the cadherin-based, catenin-containing complexes, alternating with patches formed by the EPPD complexes. The latter, a new type of junctional plaque ensemble of proteins hitherto known only from certain other cell types, must be added to the list of major lens cortex proteins. We here discuss its possible functional importance for the maintenance of lens structure and functions, notably clear and sharp vision.

    Journal of cell science 2003;116;Pt 24;4985-95

  • Tyrosine phosphorylation of plakoglobin causes contrary effects on its association with desmosomes and adherens junction components and modulates beta-catenin-mediated transcription.

    Miravet S, Piedra J, Castaño J, Raurell I, Francí C, Duñach M and García de Herreros A

    Unitat de Biofísica, Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain.

    Plakoglobin is a protein closely related to beta-catenin that links desmosomal cadherins to intermediate filaments. Plakoglobin can also substitute for beta-catenin in adherens junctions, providing a connection between E-cadherin and alpha-catenin. Association of beta-catenin with E-cadherin and alpha-catenin is regulated by phosphorylation of specific tyrosine residues; modification of beta-catenin Tyr654 and Tyr142 decreases binding to E-cadherin and alpha-catenin, respectively. We show here that plakoglobin can also be phosphorylated on tyrosine residues, but unlike beta-catenin, this modification is not always associated with disrupted association with junctional components. Protein tyrosine kinases present distinct specificities on beta-catenin and plakoglobin, and phosphorylation of beta-catenin-equivalent Tyr residues of plakoglobin affects its interaction with components of desmosomes or adherens junctions differently. For instance, Src, which mainly phosphorylates Tyr86 in beta-catenin, modifies Tyr643 in plakoglobin, decreasing the interaction with E-cadherin and alpha-catenin and increasing the interaction with the alpha-catenin-equivalent protein in desmosomes, desmoplakin. The tyrosine kinase Fer, which modifies beta-catenin Tyr142, lessening its association with alpha-catenin, phosphorylates plakoglobin Tyr549 and exerts the contrary effect: it raises the binding of plakoglobin to alpha-catenin. These results suggest that tyrosine kinases like Src or Fer modulate desmosomes and adherens junctions differently. Our results also indicate that phosphorylation of Tyr549 and the increased binding of plakoglobin to components of adherens junctions can contribute to the upregulation of the transcriptional activity of the beta-catenin-Tcf-4 complex observed in many epithelial tumor cells.

    Molecular and cellular biology 2003;23;20;7391-402

  • Plakoglobin is O-glycosylated close to the N-terminal destruction box.

    Hatsell S, Medina L, Merola J, Haltiwanger R and Cowin P

    Department of Cell Biology, New York University Medical School, New York, New York 10016, USA.

    Plakoglobin provides a key linkage in protein chains that connect desmosomal and classical cadherins to the cytoskeleton. It is also present in a significant cytosolic pool that has the capacity to impact on canonical Wnt signaling by competing for interaction with partner proteins of beta-catenin. The closely related protein, beta-catenin, is rapidly targeted for proteasomal degradation by phosphorylation of a "destruction box" within the N-terminal domain. Inhibition of this process forms the basis of Wnt signaling. This destruction box is also found in the N-terminal domain of plakoglobin. We report that plakoglobin is modified by the addition of O-GlcNAc at a single site in close proximity to the destruction box. O-GlcNAc modification has been proposed to counteract phosphorylation, provide protection from proteasomal degradation, mediate signal transduction, silence transcription, and regulate multimolecular protein assembly. This finding has potential implications for understanding the roles of plakoglobin.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: GM47429

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2003;278;39;37745-52

  • Heregulin targets gamma-catenin to the nucleolus by a mechanism dependent on the DF3/MUC1 oncoprotein.

    Li Y, Yu WH, Ren J, Chen W, Huang L, Kharbanda S, Loda M and Kufe D

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    The DF3/MUC1 transmembrane oncoprotein is aberrantly overexpressed in most human breast carcinomas and interacts with the Wnt effector gamma-catenin. Here, we demonstrate that MUC1 associates constitutively with ErbB2 in human breast cancer cells and that treatment with heregulin/neuregulin-1 (HRG) increases the formation of MUC1-ErbB2 complexes. The importance of the MUC1-ErbB2 interaction is supported by the demonstration that HRG induces binding of MUC1 and gamma-catenin and targeting of the MUC1-gamma-catenin complex to the nucleolus. Significantly, nucleolar localization of gamma-catenin in response to HRG is dependent on MUC1 expression. Moreover, mutation of a RRK motif in the MUC1 cytoplasmic domain abrogates HRG-induced nucleolar localization of MUC1 and gamma-catenin. In concert with these results, we show nucleolar localization of MUC1 and gamma-catenin in human breast carcinomas but not in normal mammary ductal epithelium. These findings demonstrate that MUC1 functions in cross talk between ErbB2 and Wnt pathways by acting as a shuttle for HRG-induced nucleolar targeting of gamma-catenin.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA97098

    Molecular cancer research : MCR 2003;1;10;765-75

  • The protein tyrosine phosphatase Pez is a major phosphatase of adherens junctions and dephosphorylates beta-catenin.

    Wadham C, Gamble JR, Vadas MA and Khew-Goodall Y

    Hanson Centre for Cancer Research, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.

    Cell-cell adhesion regulates processes important in embryonal development, normal physiology, and cancer progression. It is regulated by various mechanisms including tyrosine phosphorylation. We have previously shown that the protein tyrosine phosphatase Pez is concentrated at intercellular junctions in confluent, quiescent monolayers but is nuclear in cells lacking cell-cell contacts. We show here with an epithelial cell model that Pez localizes to the adherens junctions in confluent monolayers. A truncation mutant lacking the catalytic domain acts as a dominant negative mutant to upregulate tyrosine phosphorylation at adherens junctions. We identified beta-catenin, a component of adherens junctions, as a substrate of Pez by a "substrate trapping" approach and by in vitro dephosphorylation with recombinant Pez. Consistent with this, ectopic expression of the dominant negative mutant caused an increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of beta-catenin, demonstrating that Pez regulates the level of tyrosine phosphorylation of adherens junction proteins, including beta-catenin. Increased tyrosine phosphorylation of adherens junction proteins has been shown to decrease cell-cell adhesion, promoting cell migration as a result. Accordingly, the dominant negative Pez mutant enhanced cell motility in an in vitro "wound" assay. This suggests that Pez is also a regulator of cell motility, most likely through its action on cell-cell adhesion.

    Molecular biology of the cell 2003;14;6;2520-9

  • N-cadherin-catenin complexes form prior to cleavage of the proregion and transport to the plasma membrane.

    Wahl JK, Kim YJ, Cullen JM, Johnson KR and Wheelock MJ

    University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Dentistry and Eppley Cancer Center, Omaha, Nebraska 68198-7696, USA. Jwahl@unmc.edu

    Cadherins are calcium-dependent glycoproteins that function as cell-cell adhesion molecules and are linked to the actin cytoskeleton via catenins. Newly synthesized cadherins contain a prosequence that must be proteolytically removed to generate a functional adhesion molecule. The goal of this study was to examine the proteolytic processing of N-cadherin and the assembly of the cadherin-catenin complex in cells that express endogenous N-cadherin. A monoclonal antibody specific for the proregion of human N-cadherin was generated and used to examine N-cadherin processing. Our data show that newly synthesized proN-cadherin is phosphorylated and proteolytically processed prior to transport to the plasma membrane. In addition, we show that beta-catenin and plakoglobin associate only with phosphorylated proN-cadherin, whereas p120(ctn) can associate with both phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated proN-cadherin. Immunoprecipitations using anti-proN-cadherin showed that cadherin-catenin complexes are assembled prior to localization at the plasma membrane. These data suggest that a core N-cadherin-catenin complex assembles in the endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi compartment and is transported to the plasma membrane where linkage to the actin cytoskeleton can be established.

    Funded by: NIDCR NIH HHS: DE12308; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM51188

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2003;278;19;17269-76

  • Defining desmosomal plakophilin-3 interactions.

    Bonné S, Gilbert B, Hatzfeld M, Chen X, Green KJ and van Roy F

    Molecular Cell Biology Unit, Department for Molecular Biomedical Research, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB)-Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.

    Plakophilin 3 (PKP3) is a recently described armadillo protein of the desmosomal plaque, which is synthesized in simple and stratified epithelia. We investigated the localization pattern of endogenous and exogenous PKP3 and fragments thereof. The desmosomal binding properties of PKP3 were determined using yeast two-hybrid, coimmunoprecipitation and colocalization experiments. To this end, novel mouse anti-PKP3 mAbs were generated. We found that PKP3 binds all three desmogleins, desmocollin (Dsc) 3a and -3b, and possibly also Dsc1a and -2a. As such, this is the first protein interaction ever observed with a Dsc-b isoform. Moreover, we determined that PKP3 interacts with plakoglobin, desmoplakin (DP) and the epithelial keratin 18. Evidence was found for the presence of at least two DP-PKP3 interaction sites. This finding might explain how lateral DP-PKP interactions are established in the upper layers of stratified epithelia, increasing the size of the desmosome and the number of anchoring points available for keratins. Together, these results show that PKP3, whose epithelial and epidermal desmosomal expression pattern and protein interaction repertoire are broader than those of PKP1 and -2, is a unique multiprotein binding element in the basic architecture of a vast majority of epithelial desmosomes.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: AR41836, AR43380, R01 AR041836, R01 AR043380, R37 AR043380; NIDCR NIH HHS: P01 DE012328, P01 DE12328

    The Journal of cell biology 2003;161;2;403-16

  • Rab8B GTPase and junction dynamics in the testis.

    Lau AS and Mruk DD

    Population Council, Center for Biomedical Research, New York, New York 10021, USA.

    Throughout spermatogenesis, germ cells migrate from the basal to the adluminal compartment while remaining attached to Sertoli cells via actin-based adherens and intermediate filament-based anchoring junctions. However, the events that trigger deadhesion and adhesion remain largely unknown. As part of our continued effort in elucidating the mechanism of germ cell movement, we have examined the role of Rab8B, a GTPase probably participating in intracellular trafficking events at the site of the adherens junction. By RT-PCR Rab8B mRNA was found in the brain, testis, heart, kidney, and spleen. Immunohistochemical studies revealed that Rab8B was concentrated predominantly in the basal compartment, localizing to a similar site at which immunoreactive E-cadherin was found. Additional experiments demonstrated that Rab8B associated with the actin, intermediate filament, and microtubule cytoskeletal networks. When Sertoli cells were cultured at high density or germ cells were cocultured with Sertoli cells, Rab8B increased significantly during junction assembly. Moreover, inclusion of germ cell-conditioned medium in Sertoli cell cultures resulted in stimulation of Rab8B expression. Conversely, treatment of adult rats with 1-(2,4-dichlorobenzyl)-indazole-3-carbohydrazide reduced Rab8B mRNA and protein levels, coinciding with the time of germ cell loss from the epithelium. Taken collectively, these studies suggest that Rab8B participates in adherens junction dynamics in the testis.

    Endocrinology 2003;144;4;1549-63

  • The Armadillo family protein p0071 is a VE-cadherin- and desmoplakin-binding protein.

    Calkins CC, Hoepner BL, Law CM, Novak MR, Setzer SV, Hatzfeld M and Kowalczyk AP

    Department of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

    p0071, a member of the armadillo protein family, localizes to both adherens junctions and desmosomes in epithelial cells and exhibits homology to the adherens junction protein p120 and the desmosomal protein plakophilin-1. p0071 is also present at dermal microvascular endothelial intercellular junctions and colocalizes with VE-cadherin, an endothelium-specific cadherin that associates with both actin and intermediate filament networks. To define the role of p0071 in junction assembly, p0071 was tested for interactions with other components of the endothelial junctional complex. In transient expression assays, p0071 colocalized with and formed complexes with both VE-cadherin and desmoplakin. Deletion analysis using the yeast two-hybrid system revealed that the armadillo repeat domain of p0071 bound directly to VE-cadherin. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments demonstrated that p0071 and p120 bound to the same region on the cytoplasmic tail of VE-cadherin and that overexpression of p0071 could displace p120 from intercellular junctions. In contrast to VE-cadherin, desmoplakin was found to associate with the non-armadillo head domain of p0071. Cotransfections and triple-label immunofluorescence analysis revealed that VE-cadherin colocalization with desmoplakin in transfected COS cells required p0071, suggesting that p0071 may couple VE-cadherin to desmoplakin. Based on previous findings that both VE-cadherin and desmoplakin play central roles in vasculogenesis, these new results suggest that p0071 may play an important role in endothelial junction assembly and in the morphogenic events associated with vascular remodeling.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: HP30 AR042687, K01 AR002039, R01 AR48266-01, R03 AR47147, T32 AR007587

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2003;278;3;1774-83

  • gamma-Catenin expression is reduced or absent in a subset of human lung cancers and re-expression inhibits transformed cell growth.

    Winn RA, Bremnes RM, Bemis L, Franklin WA, Miller YE, Cool C and Heasley LE

    Veterans Administration Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, CO 80220, USA. robert.winn@uchsc.edu

    Lung cancer is a heterogeneous disease categorized into multiple subtypes of cancers which likely arise from distinct patterns of genetic alterations and disruptions. Precedent exists for a role of beta-catenin, a downstream component of the Wnt signaling pathway that serves as a transcriptional co-activator with TCF/LEF, in several human cancers including colon carcinomas. In this study, we observed that beta-catenin was highly and uniformly expressed in a panel of NSCLC cell lines and primary lung tumors. By contrast, gamma-catenin was weakly expressed or absent in several NSCLC cell lines and immunohistochemical analysis of primary NSCLC tumors revealed negligible to weak gamma-catenin staining in approximately 30% of the specimens. Treatment of NSCLC cells expressing reduced gamma-catenin protein with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5aza2dc), a DNA methylation inhibitor, or trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, increased gamma-catenin protein content in NSCLC cells with low gamma-catenin expression. Significantly, the activity of a beta-catenin/TCF-dependent luciferase reporter was markedly elevated in the NSCLC cell lines that underexpressed gamma-catenin relative to those lines that highly expressed gamma-catenin. Moreover, transfection of these cells with a gamma-catenin expression plasmid reduced the elevated TCF activity by 85% and strongly inhibited cell growth on tissue culture plastic as well as anchorage-independent growth in soft agar. This study shows that gamma-catenin can function as an inhibitor of beta-catenin/TCF-dependent gene transcription and highlights gamma-catenin as a potentially novel tumor suppressor protein in a subset of human NSCLC cancers.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 58187; NIDDK NIH HHS: DK 19928

    Oncogene 2002;21;49;7497-506

  • The transmembrane receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase DEP1 interacts with p120(ctn).

    Holsinger LJ, Ward K, Duffield B, Zachwieja J and Jallal B

    SUGEN Inc., 230 East Grand Avenue, South San Francisco, California, CA 94080, USA. leslie-holsinger@sugen.com

    The receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatase DEP1, also known as CD148, is expressed predominantly in epithelial cells, in a variety of tumor cell lines, and in lymphocytes. Expression of DEP1 is enhanced at high cell density, and this observation suggests that DEP1 may function in the regulation of cell adhesion and possibly contact inhibition of cell growth. In order to investigate the function of DEP1, substrate-trapping mutants of the phosphatase were used to identify potential substrates. GST-fusion proteins containing the DEP1 catalytic domain with a substrate-trapping D/A mutation were found to interact with p120(ctn), a component of adherens junctions. DEP1 also interacted with other members of the catenin gene family including beta-catenin and gamma-catenin. The interaction with p120(ctn) is likely to be direct, as the interaction occurs in K562 cells lacking functional adherens junctions and E-cadherin expression. Catalytic domains of the tyrosine phosphatases PTP-PEST, CD45, and PTPbeta did not interact with proteins of the catenin family to detectable levels, suggesting that the interaction of DEP1 with these proteins is specific. DEP1 expression was concentrated at sites of cell-cell contact in A549 cells. p120(ctn) was found to colocalize with these structures. Together these data suggest an important role for DEP-1 in the function of cell-cell contacts and adherens junctions.

    Oncogene 2002;21;46;7067-76

  • Loss of gamma-Catenin expression in squamous differentiation in endometrial carcinomas.

    Ashihara K, Saito T, Mizumoto H, Adachi K, Tanaka R, Nishimura M, Ito E and Kudo R

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, S-1, W-16, Chuo-ku, Japan.

    Squamous differentiation occurs in 25 to 50% of endometrial endometrioid adenocarcinomas. In this study, we analyzed the immunohistochemical expression and localization of beta- and gamma-catenin, molecular changes in the beta-catenin gene, and the subcellular localization of the desmosomal component protein, desmoplakin, by laser scanning microscopy in 35 endometrial carcinomas with squamous differentiation. In the glandular component, beta-catenin showed nuclear localization in 10 of 35 (28.5%) samples, whereas in the squamous component, nuclear localization was found in 15 of 35 (42.9%). Of the 15 samples that showed nuclear localization of beta-catenin in the squamous component, seven samples (46.7%) did not express gamma-catenin. The phenomenon was not correlated with mutation in exon 3 region of beta-catenin gene. Furthermore, in these samples, there was diffuse cytoplasmic staining for desmoplakin. These observations have not been reported in other tumors. Our results suggest that unique molecular events, i.e., stimulation of beta-catenin and suppression of gamma-catenin expression, occur within endometrial carcinomas with squamous differentiation.

    International journal of gynecological pathology : official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Pathologists 2002;21;3;246-54

  • Histamine stimulates phosphorylation of adherens junction proteins and alters their link to vimentin.

    Shasby DM, Ries DR, Shasby SS and Winter MC

    Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA. michael.shasby@uiowa.edu

    Histamine increases microvascular permeability by creating small transitory (100-400 nm) gaps between adjacent endothelial cells at sites of vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin-based adhesion. We examined the effects of histamine on the proteins within the VE-cadherin-based adherens junction in primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells. VE-cadherin is linked not only by beta- and alpha-catenin to cortical actin but also by gamma-catenin to the intermediate filament vimentin. In mature human umbilical vein cultures, the VE-cadherin immunoprecipitate contained equivalent amounts of alpha- and beta-catenin, 130% as much beta- as gamma-catenin, and 50% as much actin as vimentin. Within 60 s, histamine decreased the fraction of VE-cadherin in the insoluble portion of the cell lysate by 35 +/- 1.5%. At the same time, histamine decreased the amount of vimentin that immunoprecipitated with VE-cadherin by 50 +/- 6%. Histamine did not affect the amount of actin or the amount of alpha-, beta-, or gamma-catenin that immunoprecipitated with VE-cadherin. Within 60 s, histamine simulated a doubling in the phosphorylation of VE-cadherin and beta- and gamma-catenin. The VE-cadherin immunoprecipitate contained kinase activity that phosphorylated VE-cadherin and gamma-catenin in vitro.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL-335450, HL-63100

    American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology 2002;282;6;L1330-8

  • Protein binding and functional characterization of plakophilin 2. Evidence for its diverse roles in desmosomes and beta -catenin signaling.

    Chen X, Bonne S, Hatzfeld M, van Roy F and Green KJ

    Department of Pathology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.

    Plakophilins are a subfamily of p120-related arm-repeat proteins that can be found in both desmosomes and the nucleus. Among the three known plakophilin members, plakophilin 1 has been linked to a genetic skin disorder and shown to play important roles in desmosome assembly and organization. However, little is known about the binding partners and functions of the most widely expressed member, plakophilin 2. To better understand the cellular functions of plakophilin 2, we have examined its protein interactions with other junctional molecules using co-immunoprecipitation and yeast two-hybrid assays. Here we show that plakophilin 2 can interact directly with several desmosomal components, including desmoplakin, plakoglobin, desmoglein 1 and 2, and desmocollin 1a and 2a. The head domain of plakophilin 2 is critical for most of these interactions and is sufficient to direct plakophilin 2 to cell borders. In addition, plakophilin 2 is less efficient than plakophilin 1 in localizing to the nucleus and enhancing the recruitment of excess desmoplakin to cell borders in transiently transfected COS cells. Furthermore, plakophilin 2 is able to associate with beta-catenin through its head domain, and the expression of plakophilin 2 in SW480 cells up-regulates the endogenous beta-catenin/T cell factor-signaling activity. This up-regulation by plakophilin 2 is abolished by ectopic expression of E-cadherin, suggesting that these proteins compete for the same pool of signaling active beta-catenin. Our results demonstrate that plakophilin 2 interacts with a broader repertoire of desmosomal components than plakophilin 1 and provide new insight into the possible roles of plakophilin 2 in regulating the signaling activity of beta-catenin.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: AR41836, R01 AR43380; NIDCR NIH HHS: P01 DE12328

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2002;277;12;10512-22

  • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy caused by a deletion in plakoglobin (Naxos disease).

    Protonotarios NI, Tsatsopoulou AA and Gatzoulis KA

    Yannis Protonotarios Medical Centre of Naxos, Hora Naxos, Naxos 84300, Greece. adalena@otenet.gr

    Cardiac electrophysiology review 2002;6;1-2;72-80

  • The transcriptional factor Tcf-4 contains different binding sites for beta-catenin and plakoglobin.

    Miravet S, Piedra J, Miró F, Itarte E, García de Herreros A and Duñach M

    Unitat de Biofisica, Departament de Bioquimica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain.

    beta-Catenin and plakoglobin are two related armadillo proteins necessary for the establishment of adhesion junctions and desmosomes. Moreover, beta-catenin can also act as a transcriptional co-activator through its interaction with the members of Tcf/LEF-1 transcriptional factor family. We show here that Tcf-4 can be phosphorylated in vitro by protein kinase CK2 stoichiometrically in amino acids Ser-58-Ser-59-Ser-60. Phosphorylation of these residues does not modify the interaction of Tcf-4 with beta-catenin but reduces its association to plakoglobin. The binding sites of Tcf-4 for these two proteins were compared; whereas beta-catenin requires the N-terminal first 50 amino acids, plakoglobin interacts mainly with residues 51-80. Tcf-4-(51-80) binds plakoglobin in the region of armadillo repeats 1-6. Ternary complexes composed by beta-catenin/Tcf-4/plakoglobin could be detected in vitro, demonstrating that simultaneous binding of the two armadillo proteins to Tcf-4 is possible. Experiments performed using a Tcf-4 mutant with decreased interaction to plakoglobin demonstrated that binding to this protein negatively affected the transcriptional activity of Tcf-4. These results indicate that Tcf-4 contains two different sites for binding of beta-catenin and plakoglobin, and the interaction of the latter hinders the transcriptional activity of the complex.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2002;277;3;1884-91

  • Expression and interaction of different catenins in colorectal carcinoma cells.

    Kucerová D, Sloncová E, Tuhácková Z, Vojtechová M and Sovová V

    Institute of Molecular Genetics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 166 37 Praha 6, Czech Republic.

    Aberrant signalling activities of beta-catenin, originally identified as a component of cell-adhesion complexes, are now considered to be an important factor in colorectal carcinogenesis. However, recently it was shown that also gamma- as well as p120 catenins have a dual role either in cell adhesion or in affecting some gene activation. Therefore, the levels and interactions of these three catenins in human colorectal carcinoma cell lines were analysed. A great heterogeneity in the expression of all catenins tested was found in colorectal carcinoma cell lines HT29 and LS174T. Detailed analysis of beta-catenin interactions was done. GST-APC fragment-fused proteins were used to absorb beta-catenin and its complexes from cell lysates. Similarly, the E-cadherin binding capacity of the residual pool of beta-catenin was analysed using the GST-ECT construct. It was found that the level of beta-catenin does not necessarily depend either on the APC or beta-catenin gene mutations and that co-precipitation of beta-, gamma-, and p120 catenins is not limited to cells that express E-cadherin.

    International journal of molecular medicine 2001;8;6;695-8

  • Molecular mechanisms of beta-catenin recognition by adenomatous polyposis coli revealed by the structure of an APC-beta-catenin complex.

    Eklof Spink K, Fridman SG and Weis WI

    Departments of Structural Biology and of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 299 Campus Dr. West Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

    The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor protein plays a critical role in regulating cellular levels of the oncogene product beta-catenin. APC binds to beta-catenin through a series of homologous 15 and 20 amino acid repeats. We have determined the crystal structure of a 15 amino acid beta-catenin binding repeat from APC bound to the armadillo repeat region of beta-catenin. Although it lacks significant sequence homology, the N-terminal half of the repeat binds in a manner similar to portions of E-cadherin and XTcf3, but the remaining interactions are unique to APC. We discuss the implications of this new structure for the design of therapeutics, and present evidence from structural, biochemical and sequence data, which suggest that the 20 amino acid repeats can adopt two modes of binding to beta-catenin.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: GM56169, R01 GM056169

    The EMBO journal 2001;20;22;6203-12

  • Isoform-specific differences in the size of desmosomal cadherin/catenin complexes.

    Bannon LJ, Cabrera BL, Stack MS and Green KJ

    Department of Pathology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.

    Via their integration of the intermediate filament cytoskeleton into the cell membrane, desmosomes facilitate the maintenance of cell shape and tissue integrity as well as intercellular communication. The transmembrane components of the desmosome, the desmogleins and desmocollins, are members of the cadherin family of cell-cell adhesion molecules. Each of these proteins exists as three distinct isoforms, which are the products of individual genes and expressed in a cell-type and differentiation-specific manner. Previous work has suggested that desmoglein 1 binds to its catenin partner, plakoglobin, in an approximately 6:1 stoichiometry. In this study, the molecular organization of complexes formed by plakoglobin and desmoglein 1, 2, or 3 are further examined through immunoprecipitation, size exclusion chromatography and sucrose density sedimentation analysis. It is shown that the complex formed between plakoglobin and desmoglein 1 has an overall molecular weight greater than that of plakoglobin/desmoglein 2 or plakoglobin/desmoglein 3; however, the stoichiometry of the plakoglobin/desmoglein 1 complex does not appear to exceed 2:1.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: T32CA09560; NIAMS NIH HHS: R01AR41836; NIDCR NIH HHS: P01DE12328

    The Journal of investigative dermatology 2001;117;5;1302-6

  • The structure of the beta-catenin/E-cadherin complex and the molecular basis of diverse ligand recognition by beta-catenin.

    Huber AH and Weis WI

    Departments of Structural Biology and Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

    As a component of adherens junctions and the Wnt signaling pathway, beta-catenin binds cadherins, Tcf family transcription factors, and the tumor suppressor APC. We have determined the crystal structures of both unphosphorylated and phosphorylated E-cadherin cytoplasmic domain complexed with the arm repeat region of beta-catenin. The interaction spans all 12 arm repeats, and features quasi-independent binding regions that include helices which interact with both ends of the arm repeat domain and an extended stretch of 14 residues which closely resembles a portion of XTcf-3. Phosphorylation of E-cadherin results in interactions with a hydrophobic patch of beta-catenin that mimics the binding of an amphipathic XTcf-3 helix. APC contains sequences homologous to the phosphorylated region of cadherin, and is likely to bind similarly.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: GM56169

    Cell 2001;105;3;391-402

  • Polycystin: new aspects of structure, function, and regulation.

    Wilson PD

    Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1425 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10029, USA. pat.wilson@mssm.edu

    Polycystin-1 is a modular membrane protein with a long extracellular N-terminal portion that bears several ligand-binding domains, 11 transmembrane domains, and a > or =200 amino acid intracellular C-terminal portion with several phosphorylation signaling sites. Polycystin-1 is highly expressed in the basal membranes of ureteric bud epithelia during early development of the metanephric kidney, and disruption of the PKD1 gene in mice leads to cystic kidneys and embryonic or perinatal death. It is proposed that polycystin-1 functions as a matrix receptor to link the extracellular matrix to the actin cytoskeleton via focal adhesion proteins. Co-localization, co-sedimentation, and co-immunoprecipitation studies show that polycystin-1 forms multiprotein complexes with alpha2beta1-integrin, talin, vinculin, paxillin, p130cas, focal adhesion kinase, and c-src in normal human fetal collecting tubules and sub-confluent epithelial cultures. In normal adult kidneys and confluent epithelial cultures, polycystin-1 is downregulated and forms complexes with the cell-cell adherens junction proteins E-cadherin and beta-, gamma-, and alpha-catenin. Polycystin-1 activation at the cell membrane leads to intracellular signaling via phosphorylation through the c-Jun terminal kinase and wnt pathways leading to activation of AP-1 and TCF/LEF-dependent genes, respectively. The C-terminal of polcystin-1 has been shown to be phosphorylated by c-src at Y4237, by protein kinase A at S4252, and by focal adhesion kinase and protein kinase X at yet-to-be identified residues. Inhibition of tyrosine phosphorylation or increased cellular calcium increases polycystin-1 focal adhesion complexes versus polycystin-1 adherens junction complexes, whereas disruption of the actin cytoskeleton dissociates all polycystin-1 complexes. Genetic evidence suggests that PKD1, PKD2, NPHP1, and tensin are in the same pathway.

    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN 2001;12;4;834-45

  • Presenilin-1 binds cytoplasmic epithelial cadherin, inhibits cadherin/p120 association, and regulates stability and function of the cadherin/catenin adhesion complex.

    Baki L, Marambaud P, Efthimiopoulos S, Georgakopoulos A, Wen P, Cui W, Shioi J, Koo E, Ozawa M, Friedrich VL and Robakis NK

    Department of Psychiatry, Fishberg Research Center for Neurobiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA.

    Here we show that presenilin-1 (PS1), a protein involved in Alzheimer's disease, binds directly to epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin). This binding is mediated by the large cytoplasmic loop of PS1 and requires the membrane-proximal cytoplasmic sequence 604-615 of mature E-cadherin. This sequence is also required for E-cadherin binding of protein p120, a known regulator of cadherin-mediated cell adhesion. Using wild-type and PS1 knockout cells, we found that increasing PS1 levels suppresses p120/E-cadherin binding, and increasing p120 levels suppresses PS1/E-cadherin binding. Thus PS1 and p120 bind to and mutually compete for cellular E-cadherin. Furthermore, PS1 stimulates E-cadherin binding to beta- and gamma-catenin, promotes cytoskeletal association of the cadherin/catenin complexes, and increases Ca(2+)-dependent cell-cell aggregation. Remarkably, PS1 familial Alzheimer disease mutant DeltaE9 increased neither the levels of cadherin/catenin complexes nor cell aggregation, suggesting that this familial Alzheimer disease mutation interferes with cadherin-based cell-cell adhesion. These data identify PS1 as an E-cadherin-binding protein and a regulator of E-cadherin function in vivo.

    Funded by: NIA NIH HHS: AG-05138, AG-08200, AG-17926, P50 AG005138, R01 AG008200, R01 AG017926, R37 AG017926

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2001;98;5;2381-6

  • Crystal structure of a beta-catenin/Tcf complex.

    Graham TA, Weaver C, Mao F, Kimelman D and Xu W

    Department of Biological Structure University of Washington 98195, Seattle, WA, USA.

    The Wnt signaling pathway plays critical roles in embryonic development and tumorigenesis. Stimulation of the Wnt pathway results in the accumulation of a nuclear beta-catenin/Tcf complex, activating Wnt target genes. A crystal structure of beta-catenin bound to the beta-catenin binding domain of Tcf3 (Tcf3-CBD) has been determined. The Tcf3-CBD forms an elongated structure with three binding modules that runs antiparallel to beta-catenin along the positively charged groove formed by the armadillo repeats. Structure-based mutagenesis defines three sites in beta-catenin that are critical for binding the Tcf3-CBD and are differentially involved in binding APC, cadherin, and Axin. The structural and mutagenesis data reveal a potential target for molecular drug design studies.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: HD07183, HD27262; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM07270

    Cell 2000;103;6;885-96

  • Genomic organization and amplification of the human plakoglobin gene (JUP).

    Whittock NV, Eady RA and McGrath JA

    Department of Cell and Molecular Pathology, St John's Institute of Dermatology, The Guy's, King's College, and St Thomas' Hospitals' Medical School, London, UK. neil.2.whittock@kcl.ac.uk

    Plakoglobin is a globular protein common to the intracellular plaques of adhesive junctions, predominantly desmosomes and adherens junctions. Recently, a number of pathogenic mutations have been described in other components of desmosomes, specifically in plakophilin 1, desmoplakin and desmoglein 1. The phenotype of affected patients mainly involves thickening of palm and sole skin (keratoderma). Although no human mutations in plakoglobin have been described thus far, this protein represents an excellent candidate for other human genetic disorders, possibly involving skin and heart, sites of high plakoglobin expression. To facilitate future mutation detection analyses in such conditions, we have characterized the intron-exon organization of the human plakoglobin gene, which comprises 13 distinct exons spanning approximately 17 kb on 17q21. We have also developed a PCR-based mutation detection strategy using primers placed on flanking introns followed by direct sequencing of the PCR products.

    Experimental dermatology 2000;9;5;323-6

  • The E-cadherin-catenin complex in tumour metastasis: structure, function and regulation.

    Beavon IR

    Department of Anatomical Pathology, School of Pathology, South African Institute for Medical Research and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. nesinsa@global.co.za

    E-cadherin and the associated catenin complex have been recognised as performing a key role in cell adhesion. Loss of cell adhesion is seen as a key step in the cascade leading to tumour metastasis. The ability of both extra- and intracellular factors to regulate E-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion in physiological processes has provided insight into both the interactions of the E-cadherin-catenin complex, and possible mechanisms utilised by tumours in the process of metastasis. The interaction of the E-cadherin-catenin complex with various regulating factors, their effect on cell signalling pathways, and the relationship with the metastatic potential of tumours are reviewed.

    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) 2000;36;13 Spec No;1607-20

  • Amino-terminal domain of classic cadherins determines the specificity of the adhesive interactions.

    Klingelhöfer J, Troyanovsky RB, Laur OY and Troyanovsky S

    Division of Dermatology, Washington University Medical School, St Louis, MO 63110, USA.

    Classic cadherins are transmembrane receptors involved in cell type-specific calcium-dependent intercellular adhesion. The specificity of adhesion is mediated by homophilic interactions between cadherins extending from opposing cell surfaces. In addition, classic cadherins can self-associate forming lateral dimers. Whereas it is widely excepted that lateral dimerization of cadherins is critical for adhesion, details of this process are not known. Yet, no evidence for physical association between different classic cadherins in cells expressing complex cadherin patterns has been reported. To study lateral and adhesive intercadherin interactions, we examined interactions between two classic cadherins, E- and P-cadherins, in epithelial A-431 cells co-producing both proteins. We showed that these cells exhibited heterocomplexes consisting of laterally assembled E- and P-cadherins. These complexes were formed by a mechanism involving Trp(156) of E-cadherin. Removal of calcium ions from the culture medium triggered a novel Trp(156)-independent type of lateral E-cadherin-P-cadherin association. Notably, an antiparallel (adhesive) mode of interaction between these cadherins was negligible. The specificity of adhesive interaction was localized to the amino-terminal (EC1) domain of both cadherins. Thus, EC1 domain of classic cadherins exposes two determinants responsible for nonspecific lateral and cadherin type-specific adhesive dimerization.

    Journal of cell science 2000;113 ( Pt 16);2829-36

  • Platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (CD31), a scaffolding molecule for selected catenin family members whose binding is mediated by different tyrosine and serine/threonine phosphorylation.

    Ilan N, Cheung L, Pinter E and Madri JA

    Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.

    Platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM)-1 is a 130-kDa glycoprotein commonly used as an endothelium-specific marker. Evidence to date suggests that PECAM-1 is more than just an endothelial cell marker but is intimately involved in signal transduction pathways. This is mediated in part by phosphorylation of specific tyrosine residues within the ITAM domain of PECAM-1 and by recruitment of adapter and signaling molecules. Recently we demonstrated that PECAM-1/beta-catenin association functions to regulate beta-catenin localization and, moreover, to modulate beta-catenin tyrosine phosphorylation levels. Here we show that: 1) not only beta-catenin, but also gamma-catenin is associated with PECAM-1 in vitro and in vivo; 2) PKC enzyme directly phosphorylates purified PECAM-1; 3) PKC-derived PECAM-1 serine/threonine phosphorylation inversely correlates with gamma-catenin association; 4) PECAM-1 recruits gamma-catenin to cell-cell junctions in transfected SW480 cells; and 5) gamma-catenin may recruit PECAM-1 into an insoluble cytoskeletal fraction. These data further support the concept that PECAM-1 functions as a binder and modulator of catenins and provides a molecular mechanism for previously reported PECAM-1/cytoskeleton interactions.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: R37-HL28373; NIDDK NIH HHS: P01-DK38979

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2000;275;28;21435-43

  • Identification of a deletion in plakoglobin in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy with palmoplantar keratoderma and woolly hair (Naxos disease).

    McKoy G, Protonotarios N, Crosby A, Tsatsopoulou A, Anastasakis A, Coonar A, Norman M, Baboonian C, Jeffery S and McKenna WJ

    Department of Cardiological Sciences, St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.

    Background: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an autosomal dominant heart muscle disorder that causes arrhythmia, heart failure, and sudden death. Previously we mapped the genetic locus for the triad of autosomal recessive ARVC, palmoplantar keratoderma, and woolly hair (Naxos disease) to chromosome 17q21, in which the gene for plakoglobin is encoded. This protein is a key component of desmosomes and adherens junctions, and is important for the tight adhesion of many cell types, including those in the heart and skin.

    Methods: We studied 19 individuals with Naxos disease, as well as unaffected family members and unrelated individuals from the neighbouring Greek islands of Naxos and Milos. Gene sequence was determined by reverse transcriptase PCR from RNA isolated from the skin of an affected individual and mutations in other cases were confirmed by restriction-enzyme analysis.

    Findings: A homozygous 2 base pair deletion in the plakoglobin gene was identified only in the 19 affected individuals. This deletion caused a frameshift and premature termination of the protein, which was shown by western blot analysis. 29 clinically unaffected family members were heterozygous for the mutation; 20 unrelated individuals from Naxos and 43 autosomal dominant ARVC probands were homozygous for the normal allele.

    Interpretation: The finding of a deletion in plakoglobin in ARVC suggests that the proteins involved in cell-cell adhesion play an important part in maintaining myocyte integrity, and when junctions are disrupted, cell death, and fibrofatty replacement occur. Therefore, the discovery of a mutation in a protein with functions in maintaining cell junction integrity has important implications for other dominant forms of ARVC, related cardiomyopathies, and other cutaneous diseases.

    Lancet (London, England) 2000;355;9221;2119-24

  • Differential mechanisms of LEF/TCF family-dependent transcriptional activation by beta-catenin and plakoglobin.

    Zhurinsky J, Shtutman M and Ben-Ze'ev A

    Department of Molecular Cell Biology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel.

    beta-Catenin and plakoglobin are highly homologous components of cell-cell adherens junctions linking cadherin receptors to the actin cytoskeleton. beta-Catenin, in addition, activates transcription by forming a complex with LEF/TCF family transcription factors in the nucleus. Plakoglobin can also bind to LEF-1 and, when overexpressed in mammalian cells, enhances LEF-1-directed transcription. Plakoglobin overexpression, however, results in the elevation and nuclear translocation of endogenous beta-catenin. We show here, by DNA mobility shift analysis, that the formation of a plakoglobin-LEF/TCF-DNA complex in vitro is very inefficient compared to a complex containing beta-catenin-LEF-DNA. Moreover, in plakoglobin-transfected cells plakoglobin-LEF/TCF-DNA complexes were not formed; rather, the endogenous beta-catenin, whose level is elevated by plakoglobin transfection, formed a beta-catenin-LEF-DNA complex. Removal of the N- and C-terminal domains of both beta-catenin and plakoglobin (leaving the armadillo repeat domain intact) induced plakoglobin-LEF-DNA complex formation and also enhanced beta-catenin-LEF-DNA complexing, both with in vitro-translated components and in transfected cells. Transfection with these truncated catenins increased endogenous beta-catenin levels, but the truncated catenins acted as dominant-negative inhibitors of beta-catenin-driven transcription by forming transcriptionally inactive complexes with LEF-1. When these catenin mutants were prevented from entering the nucleus, by their fusion to the connexin transmembrane domain, they indirectly activated transcription by increasing endogenous beta-catenin levels. These results suggest that overexpression of plakoglobin does not directly activate transcription and that formation of catenin-LEF-DNA complexes is negatively regulated by the catenin N- and C-terminal domains.

    Molecular and cellular biology 2000;20;12;4238-52

  • The amino- and carboxyl-terminal tails of (beta)-catenin reduce its affinity for desmoglein 2.

    Wahl JK3rd, Nieset JE, Sacco-Bubulya PA, Sadler TM, Johnson KR and Wheelock MJ

    Department of Biology, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA.

    beta-catenin and plakoglobin are members of the armadillo family of proteins and were first identified as components of intercellular adhering junctions. In the adherens junction beta-catenin and plakoglobin serve to link classical cadherins to the actin-based cytoskeleton. In the desmosome plakoglobin links the desmosomal cadherins, the desmogleins and the desmocollins, to the intermediate filament cytoskeleton. beta-catenin is not a component of the desmosome. Previously we have shown that the central armadillo repeat region of plakoglobin is the site for desmosomal cadherin binding. We hypothesized that the unique amino- and/or carboxyl-terminal ends of beta-catenin may regulate its exclusion from the desmosomal plaque. To test this hypothesis we used chimeras between beta-catenin and plakoglobin to identify domain(s) that modulate association with desmoglein 2. Chimeric constructs, each capable of associating with classical cadherins, were assayed for association with the desmosomal cadherin desmoglein 2. Addition of either the N- or C-terminal tail of beta-catenin to the armadillo repeats of plakoglobin did not interfere with desmoglein 2 association. However, when both beta-catenin amino terminus and carboxyl terminus were added to the plakoglobin armadillo repeats, association with desmoglein 2 was diminished. Removal of the first 26 amino acids from this construct restored association. We show evidence for direct protein-protein interactions between the amino- and carboxyl-terminal tails of beta-catenin and propose that a sequence in the first 26 amino acids of beta-catenin along with its carboxyl-terminal tail decrease its affinity for desmoglein and prevent its inclusion in the desmosome.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: AR42682; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM51188

    Journal of cell science 2000;113 ( Pt 10);1737-45

  • Different effects of dominant negative mutants of desmocollin and desmoglein on the cell-cell adhesion of keratinocytes.

    Hanakawa Y, Amagai M, Shirakata Y, Sayama K and Hashimoto K

    Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, Ehime University, Ehime, Japan. hanakawa@m.ehime-u.ac.jp

    Desmosomes contain two types of cadherin: desmocollin (Dsc) and desmoglein (Dsg). In this study, we examined the different roles that Dsc and Dsg play in the formation of desmosomes, by using dominant-negative mutants. We constructed recombinant adenoviruses (Ad) containing truncated mutants of E-cadherin, desmocollin 3a, and desmoglein 3 lacking a large part of their extracellular domains (EcaddeltaEC, Dsc3adeltaEC, Dsg3deltaEC), using the Cre-loxP Ad system to circumvent the problem of the toxicity of the mutants to virus-producing cells. When Dsc3adeltaEC Ad-infected HaCaT cells were cultured with high levels of calcium, E-cadherin and beta-catenin, which are marker molecules for the adherens junction, disappeared from the cell-cell contact sites, and cell-cell adhesion was disrupted. This also occurred in the cells infected with EcaddeltaEC Ad. With Dsg3deltaEC Ad infection, keratin insertion at the cell-cell contact sites was inhibited and desmoplakin, a marker of desmosomes, was stained in perinuclear dots while the adherens junctions remained intact. Dsc3adeltaEC Ad inhibited the induction of adherens junctions and the subsequent formation of desmosomes with the calcium shift, while Dsg3deltaEC Ad only inhibited the formation of desmosomes. To further determine whether Dsc3adeltaEC directly affected adherens junctions, mouse fibroblast L cells transfected with E-cadherin (LEC5) were infected with these mutant Ads. Both Dsc3adeltaEC and EcaddeltaEC inhibited the cell-cell adhesion of LEC5 cells, as determined by the cell aggregation assay, while Dsg3deltaEC did not. These results indicate that the dominant negative effects of Dsg3deltaEC were restricted to desmosomes, while those of Dsc3adeltaEC were observed in both desmosomes and adherens junctions. Furthermore, the cytoplasmic domain of Dsc3adeltaEC coprecipitated both plakoglobin and beta-catenin in HaCaT cells. In addition, beta-catenin was found to bind the endogenous Dsc in HaCaT cells. These findings lead us to speculate that Dsc interacts with components of the adherens junctions through beta-catenin, and plays a role in nucleating desmosomes after the adherens junctions have been established.

    Journal of cell science 2000;113 ( Pt 10);1803-11

  • Differential interaction of plakoglobin and beta-catenin with the ubiquitin-proteasome system.

    Sadot E, Simcha I, Iwai K, Ciechanover A, Geiger B and Ben-Ze'ev A

    Department of Molecular Cell Biology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

    Beta-catenin and plakoglobin are closely related armadillo family proteins with shared and distinct properties; Both are associated with cadherins in actin-containing adherens junctions. Plakoglobin is also found in desmosomes where it anchors intermediate filaments to the desmosomal plaques. Beta-catenin, on the other hand, is a component of the Wnt signaling pathway, which is involved in embryonic morphogenesis and tumorigenesis. A key step in the regulation of this pathway involves modulation of beta-catenin stability. A multiprotein complex, regulated by Wnt, directs the phosphorylation of beta-catenin and its degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Plakoglobin can also associate with members of this complex, but inhibition of proteasomal degradation has little effect on its levels while dramatically increasing the levels of beta-catenin. Beta-TrCP, an F-box protein of the SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, was recently shown to play a role in the turnover of beta-catenin. To elucidate the basis for the apparent differences in the turnover of beta-catenin and plakoglobin we compared the handling of these two proteins by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. We show here that a deletion mutant of beta-TrCP, lacking the F-box, can stabilize the endogenous beta-catenin leading to its nuclear translocation and induction of beta-catenin/LEF-1-directed transcription, without affecting the levels of plakoglobin. However, when plakoglobin was overexpressed, it readily associated with beta-TrCP, efficiently competed with beta-catenin for binding to beta-TrCP and became polyubiquitinated. Fractionation studies revealed that about 85% of plakoglobin in 293 cells, is Triton X-100-insoluble compared to 50% of beta-catenin. These results suggest that while both plakoglobin and beta-catenin can comparably interact with beta-TrCP and the ubiquitination system, the sequestration of plakoglobin by the membrane-cytoskeleton system renders it inaccessible to the proteolytic machinery and stabilizes it.

    Oncogene 2000;19;16;1992-2001

  • Axin directly interacts with plakoglobin and regulates its stability.

    Kodama S, Ikeda S, Asahara T, Kishida M and Kikuchi A

    Department of Biochemistry, Hiroshima University School of Medicine, 1-2-3, Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 734-8551, Japan.

    Plakoglobin is homologous to beta-catenin. Axin, a Wnt signal negative regulator, enhances glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3beta-dependent phosphorylation of beta-catenin and stimulates the degradation of beta-catenin. Therefore, we examined the effect of Axin on plakoglobin stability. Axin formed a complex with plakoglobin in COS cells and SW480 cells. Axin directly bound to plakoglobin, and this binding was inhibited by beta-catenin. Axin promoted GSK-3beta-dependent phosphorylation of plakoglobin. Furthermore, overexpression of Axin down-regulated the level of plakoglobin in SW480 cells. These results suggest that Axin regulates the stability of plakoglobin by enhancing its phosphorylation by GSK-3beta and that Axin may act on beta-catenin and plakoglobin in similar manners.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1999;274;39;27682-8

  • Regulation of endothelial cell adherens junctions by a Ras-dependent signal transduction pathway.

    Hegland DD, Sullivan DM, Rovira II, Li A, Kovesdi I, Bruder JT and Finkel T

    Cardiology Branch, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892, USA.

    Adherens junctions, consisting of transmembrane cadherin molecules and their associated cytoplasmic alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin proteins, are thought to be critical for the development of stable cell adhesion and subsequent 3-dimensional tissue organization. In human endothelial cells there is a marked induction of gamma-catenin levels when cells reach confluence. We demonstrate that expression of a dominant negative ras gene product (N17ras) via adenoviral mediated gene transfer inhibits the confluent-dependent rise in gamma-catenin mRNA and protein levels. Consistent with its effects on overall gamma-catenin levels, expression of N17ras also reduces the amount of gamma-catenin associated with the adherens junction. Finally, although expression of N17ras under normal culture conditions produces no clear morphological phenotype, endothelial cells expressing a dominant negative ras gene product fail to form 3-dimensional, vascular-like structures when plated on reconstituted extracellular matrix.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 1999;260;2;371-6

  • Cadherin and catenin expression in normal human bronchial epithelium and non-small cell lung cancer.

    Smythe WR, Williams JP, Wheelock MJ, Johnson KR, Kaiser LR and Albelda SM

    M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The University of Texas, Houston 77030, USA. rsmythenotes.mdacc.tmc.edu.

    Cadherins are transmembrane cell adhesion molecules (CAMS) that mediate cell-cell interactions and are important for maintenance of epithelial cell integrity. This function is dependent on an indirect interaction between the cytoplasmic domain of the cadherin molecule with three cytoplasmic proteins known as alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin (-cat). Growing evidence suggests that alterations in cadherin or catenin expression or function may be important to the development of an invasive or metastatic phenotype. Immunohistochemical techniques were used to study the expression of the two major epithelial cadherins, E-cadherin (E-cad) and P-cadherin (P-cad) as well as alpha- and gamma-cat in normal bronchial epithelium and in a series of carefully TMN-staged pulmonary adenocarcinomas (n = 21) and squamous cell carcinomas (n = 7). The cadherin profile of normal pseudostratified bronchial epithelium was heterogeneous. Basilar cells strongly expressed P-cad, alpha- and gamma-cat, while columnar cells moderately expressed E-cad, alpha- and gamma-cat. In contrast to other epithelial tumors, E-cad on non-small cell lung carcinomas was actually upregulated, however, a decrease in P-cad expression was noted in 68%. At least one cadherin or catenin was downregulated, compared to normal bronchial epithelium, in 82% of tumors examined. With the exception of an association between loss of P-cad expression and poorly differentiated state, changes in cadherin and catenin expression levels were not significantly correlated to tumor stage, cell type, or nodal status. These findings illustrate that alteration of expression of cadherins and catenins are often found in non-small cell lung carcinoma when compared to the progenitor bronchial epithelium, and may play a role in the development of the malignant phenotype.

    Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 1999;24;3;157-68

  • VE-cadherin and desmoplakin are assembled into dermal microvascular endothelial intercellular junctions: a pivotal role for plakoglobin in the recruitment of desmoplakin to intercellular junctions.

    Kowalczyk AP, Navarro P, Dejana E, Bornslaeger EA, Green KJ, Kopp DS and Borgwardt JE

    Departments of Dermatology, Pathology, and The Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, USA. akowalc@emory.edu.

    Vascular endothelial cells assemble adhesive intercellular junctions comprising a unique cadherin, VE-cadherin, which is coupled to the actin cytoskeleton through cytoplasmic interactions with plakoglobin, beta-catenin and alpha -catenin. However, the potential linkage between VE-cadherin and the vimentin intermediate filament cytoskeleton is not well characterized. Recent evidence indicates that lymphatic and vascular endothelial cells express desmoplakin, a cytoplasmic desmosomal protein that attaches intermediate filaments to the plasma membrane in epithelial cells. In the present study, desmoplakin was localized to intercellular junctions in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells. To determine if VE-cadherin could associate with desmoplakin, VE-cadherin, plakoglobin, and a desmoplakin amino-terminal polypeptide (DP-NTP) were co-expressed in L-cell fibroblasts. In the presence of VE-cadherin, both plakoglobin and DP-NTP were recruited to cell-cell borders. Interestingly, beta-catenin could not substitute for plakoglobin in the recruitment of DP-NTP to cell borders, and DP-NTP bound to plakoglobin but not beta-catenin in the yeast two-hybrid system. In addition, DP-NTP colocalized at cell-cell borders with alpha-catenin in the L-cell lines, and endogenous desmoplakin and alpha-catenin colocalized in cultured dermal microvascular endothelial cells. This is in striking contrast to epithelial cells, where desmoplakin and alpha -+catenin are restricted to desmosomes and adherens junctions, respectively. These results suggest that endothelial cells assemble unique junctional complexes that couple VE-cadherin to both the actin and intermediate filament cytoskeleton.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: KO1AR02039, R01AR44380

    Journal of cell science 1998;111 ( Pt 20);3045-57

  • Defining the interactions between intermediate filaments and desmosomes.

    Smith EA and Fuchs E

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.

    Desmoplakin (DP), plakoglobin (PG), and plakophilin 1 (PP1) are desmosomal components lacking a transmembrane domain, thus making them candidate linker proteins for connecting intermediate filaments and desmosomes. Using deletion and site-directed mutagenesis, we show that remarkably, removal of approximately 1% of DP's sequence obliterates its ability to associate with desmosomes. Conversely, when linked to a foreign protein, as few as 86 NH2-terminal DP residues are sufficient to target to desmosomes efficiently. In in vitro overlay assays, the DP head specifically associates with itself and with desmocollin 1a (Dsc1a). In similar overlay assays, PP1 binds to DP and Dsc1a, and to a lesser extent, desmoglein 1 (Dsg1), while PG binds to Dsg1 and more weakly to Dsc1a and DP. Interestingly, like DP, PG and PP1 associate with epidermal keratins, although PG is considerably weaker in its ability to do so. As judged by overlay assays, the amino terminal head domain of type II keratins appears to have a special importance in establishing these connections. Taken together, our findings provide new insights into the complexities of the links between desmosomes and intermediate filaments (IFs). Our results suggest a model whereby at desmosome sites within dividing epidermal cells, DP and PG anchor to desmosomal cadherins and to each other, forming an ordered array of nontransmembrane proteins that then bind to keratin IFs. As epidermal cells differentiate, PP1 is added as a molecular reinforcement to the plaque, enhancing anchorage to IFs and accounting at least partially for the increase in numbers and stability of desmosomes in suprabasal cells.

    The Journal of cell biology 1998;141;5;1229-41

  • A mutation in alpha-catenin disrupts adhesion in clone A cells without perturbing its actin and beta-catenin binding activity.

    Roe S, Koslov ER and Rimm DL

    Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.

    Cadherin mediated cell-cell adhesion requires cytoplasmic connections to the cytoskeleton mediated by alpha-catenin. Original descriptions of the catenins, as well as our own in vitro studies, have suggested that this connection was mediated by the interaction of alpha-catenin to actin. Loss of adhesion in the human colon carcinoma cell line "Clone A" is the result of an internal deletion mutation of 158 residues near the N-terminus of the protein resulting in an 80 kD mutated protein. Transfection of these cells with the full length protein restores the normal adhesive phenotype. We have characterized this mutant protein in efforts to understand the normal function of alpha-catenin and, in particular, the region deleted in the Clone A mutant. Co-precipitation experiments using whole cell lysates indicate that the mutant form of alpha-catenin binds beta-catenin and plakoglobin, and can form a structural complex with E-cadherin via these interactions. Actin co-sedimentation assays show that the recombinant mutant binds and bundles F-actin and binds both actin and beta-catenin simultaneously, as seen with wild type alpha-catenin. These results suggest that the stabilization of the E-cadherin-catenin complex may be mediated by factors beyond its direct interaction with actin. We conclude that a region near the N-terminus of alpha-catenin mediates additional interactions between the adhesive complex and the cytoskeleton that are critical for functional adhesion.

    Cell adhesion and communication 1998;5;4;283-96

  • The epidermal growth factor receptor modulates the interaction of E-cadherin with the actin cytoskeleton.

    Hazan RB and Norton L

    Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA. rhazan@smtplink.mssm.edu

    Alterations in the expression or function of molecules that affect cellular adhesion and proliferation are thought to be critical events for tumor progression. Loss of expression of the cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin and increased expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor are two prominent molecular events that are associated with tumorigenesis. The regulation of E-cadherin-dependent cell adhesion by epidermal growth factor (EGF) was therefore examined in the human breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB-468. In this study, changes were observed in the subcellular distribution of components that mediate the cytoplasmic connection between E-cadherin and the actin-based cytoskeleton in response to activation of the EGF receptor. Serum withdrawal activated E-cadherin-dependent cell-cell aggregation in MDA-MB-468 cells, and this treatment stimulated the interaction of actin, alpha-actinin, and vinculin with E-cadherin complexes, despite the absence of alpha-catenin in these cells. By contrast, the co-precipitation of actin with E-cadherin was not detected in several alpha-catenin positive epithelial cell lines. Treatment with EGF inhibited cellular aggregation but did not affect either the levels of E-cadherin or catenin expression nor the association of catenins (beta-catenin, plakoglobin/gamma-catenin, or p120(cas)) with E-cadherin. However, EGF treatment of the MDA-MB-468 cell line dissociated actin, alpha-actinin, and vinculin from the E-cadherin-catenin complex, and this coincided with a robust phosphorylation of beta-catenin, plakoglobin/gamma-catenin, and p120(cas) on tyrosine residues. Furthermore, inactivation of the EGF receptor in serum-treated MDA-MB-468 cells with either a function-blocking antibody or EGF receptor kinase inhibitors mimicked the effects of serum starvation by stimulating both cellular aggregation and assembly of E-cadherin complexes with vinculin and actin. These results demonstrate that the EGF receptor directly regulates cell-cell adhesion through modulation of the interaction of E-cadherin with the actin cytoskeleton and thus substantiates the coordinate role of both of these molecules in tumor progression and metastasis.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 1P50CA68425

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1998;273;15;9078-84

  • Coexpression of both types of desmosomal cadherin and plakoglobin confers strong intercellular adhesion.

    Marcozzi C, Burdett ID, Buxton RS and Magee AI

    Division of Membrane Biology, National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK.

    Desmosomes are unique intercellular junctions in that they invariably contain two types of transmembrane cadherin molecule, desmocollins and desmogleins. In addition they possess a distinct cytoplasmic plaque structure containing a few major proteins including desmoplakins and the armadillo family member plakoglobin. Desmosomal cadherins are putative cell-cell adhesion molecules and we have tested their adhesive capacity using a transfection approach in mouse L cells. We find that L cells expressing either one or both of the desmosomal cadherins desmocollin 2a or desmoglein 1 display weak cell-cell adhesion activity that is Ca2+-dependent. Both homophilic and heterophilic adhesion could be detected. However, co-expression of plakoglobin with both desmosomal cadherins, but not with desmoglein 1 alone, resulted in a dramatic potentiation of cell-cell aggregation and the accumulation of detergent-insoluble desmosomal proteins at points of cell-cell contact. The effect of plakoglobin seems to be due directly to its interaction with the desmosomal cadherins rather than to its signalling function. The data suggest that the desmosome may obligatorily contain two cadherins and is consistent with a model in which desmocollins and desmogleins may form side by side heterodimers in contrast to the classical cadherins that are homodimeric. Plakoglobin may function by potentiating dimer formation, accretion of dimers to cell-cell contact sites or desmosomal cadherin stability.

    Funded by: Wellcome Trust

    Journal of cell science 1998;111 ( Pt 4);495-509

  • Alteration of interendothelial adherens junctions following tumor cell-endothelial cell interaction in vitro.

    Lewalle JM, Bajou K, Desreux J, Mareel M, Dejana E, Noël A and Foidart JM

    Laboratory of Cellular Biology, University of Liége, CHU, Sart-Tilman, Belgium. JM.Lewalle@ulg.ac.be

    The integrity of the vascular endothelium is mainly dependent upon the organization of interendothelial adherens junctions (AJ). These junctions are formed by the homotypic interaction of a transmembrane protein, vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin), which is complexed to an intracellular protein network including alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin. Additional proteins such as vinculin and alpha-actinin have been suggested to link the VE-cadherin/catenin complex to the actin-based cytoskeleton. During the process of hematogenous metastasis, circulating tumor cells must disrupt these intercellular junctions in order to extravasate. In the present study, we have investigated the influence of tumor cell-endothelial cell interaction upon interendothelial AJ. We show that human breast adenocarcinoma cells (MCF-7), but not normal human mammary epithelial cells, induce a rapid endothelial cell (EC) dissociation which correlates with the loss of VE-cadherin expression at the site of tumor cell-EC contact and with profound changes in vinculin distribution and organization. This process could not be inhibited by metalloproteinase nor serine protease inhibitors. Immunoprecipitations and Western blot analysis demonstrate that the overall expression of VE-cadherin and vinculin as well as the composition of the VE-cadherin/catenins complex are not affected by tumor cells while the tyrosine phosphorylation status of proteins within the complex is significantly altered. Our data suggest that tumor cells modulate AJ protein distribution and phosphorylation in EC and may, thereby, facilitate EC dissociation.

    Experimental cell research 1997;237;2;347-56

  • The amino-terminal domain of desmoplakin binds to plakoglobin and clusters desmosomal cadherin-plakoglobin complexes.

    Kowalczyk AP, Bornslaeger EA, Borgwardt JE, Palka HL, Dhaliwal AS, Corcoran CM, Denning MF and Green KJ

    Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.

    The desmosome is a highly organized plasma membrane domain that couples intermediate filaments to the plasma membrane at regions of cell-cell adhesion. Desmosomes contain two classes of cadherins, desmogleins, and desmocollins, that bind to the cytoplasmic protein plakoglobin. Desmoplakin is a desmosomal component that plays a critical role in linking intermediate filament networks to the desmosomal plaque, and the amino-terminal domain of desmoplakin targets desmoplakin to the desmosome. However, the desmosomal protein(s) that bind the amino-terminal domain of desmoplakin have not been identified. To determine if the desmosomal cadherins and plakoglobin interact with the amino-terminal domain of desmoplakin, these proteins were co-expressed in L-cell fibroblasts, cells that do not normally express desmosomal components. When expressed in L-cells, the desmosomal cadherins and plakoglobin exhibited a diffuse distribution. However, in the presence of an amino-terminal desmoplakin polypeptide (DP-NTP), the desmosomal cadherins and plakoglobin were observed in punctate clusters that also contained DP-NTP. In addition, plakoglobin and DP-NTP were recruited to cell-cell interfaces in L-cells co-expressing a chimeric cadherin with the E-cadherin extracellular domain and the desmoglein-1 cytoplasmic domain, and these cells formed structures that were ultrastructurally similar to the outer plaque of the desmosome. In transient expression experiments in COS cells, the recruitment of DP-NTP to cell borders by the chimera required co-expression of plakoglobin. Plakoglobin and DP-NTP co-immunoprecipitated when extracted from L-cells, and yeast two hybrid analysis indicated that DP-NTP binds directly to plakoglobin but not Dsg1. These results identify a role for desmoplakin in organizing the desmosomal cadherin-plakoglobin complex and provide new insights into the hierarchy of protein interactions that occur in the desmosomal plaque.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: R01 AR041836, R01 AR043380, R01AR41836, R01AR43380

    The Journal of cell biology 1997;139;3;773-84

  • Three-dimensional structure of the armadillo repeat region of beta-catenin.

    Huber AH, Nelson WJ and Weis WI

    Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305, USA.

    Beta-catenin is essential for cadherin-based cell adhesion and Wnt/Wingless growth factor signaling. In these roles, it binds to cadherins, Tcf-family transcription factors, and the tumor suppressor gene product Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC). A core region of beta-catenin, composed of 12 copies of a 42 amino acid sequence motif known as an armadillo repeat, mediates these interactions. The three-dimensional structure of a protease-resistant fragment of beta-catenin containing the armadillo repeat region has been determined. The 12 repeats form a superhelix of helices that features a long, positively charged groove. Although unrelated in sequence, the beta-catenin binding regions of cadherins, Tcfs, and APC are acidic and are proposed to interact with this groove.

    Cell 1997;90;5;871-82

  • Cellular redistribution of protein tyrosine phosphatases LAR and PTPsigma by inducible proteolytic processing.

    Aicher B, Lerch MM, Müller T, Schilling J and Ullrich A

    Department of Molecular Biology, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.

    Most receptor-like protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPases) display a high degree of homology with cell adhesion molecules in their extracellular domains. We studied the functional significance of processing for the receptor-like PTPases LAR and PTPsigma. PTPsigma biosynthesis and intracellular processing resembled that of the related PTPase LAR and was expressed on the cell surface as a two-subunit complex. Both LAR and PTPsigma underwent further proteolytical processing upon treatment of cells with either calcium ionophore A23187 or phorbol ester TPA. Induction of LAR processing by TPA in 293 cells did require overexpression of PKCalpha. Induced proteolysis resulted in shedding of the extracellular domains of both PTPases. This was in agreement with the identification of a specific PTPsigma cleavage site between amino acids Pro821 and Ile822. Confocal microscopy studies identified adherens junctions and desmosomes as the preferential subcellular localization for both PTPases matching that of plakoglobin. Consistent with this observation, we found direct association of plakoglobin and beta-catenin with the intracellular domain of LAR in vitro. Taken together, these data suggested an involvement of LAR and PTPsigma in the regulation of cell contacts in concert with cell adhesion molecules of the cadherin/catenin family. After processing and shedding of the extracellular domain, the catalytically active intracellular portions of both PTPases were internalized and redistributed away from the sites of cell-cell contact, suggesting a mechanism that regulates the activity and target specificity of these PTPases. Calcium withdrawal, which led to cell contact disruption, also resulted in internalization but was not associated with prior proteolytic cleavage and shedding of the extracellular domain. We conclude that the subcellular localization of LAR and PTPsigma is regulated by at least two independent mechanisms, one of which requires the presence of their extracellular domains and one of which involves the presence of intact cell-cell contacts.

    The Journal of cell biology 1997;138;3;681-96

  • Interaction of the DF3/MUC1 breast carcinoma-associated antigen and beta-catenin in cell adhesion.

    Yamamoto M, Bharti A, Li Y and Kufe D

    Division of Cancer Pharmacology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    The DF3/MUC1 mucin-like glycoprotein is aberrantly overexpressed in human breast carcinomas. The functional role of DF3 is unknown. The present studies demonstrate that DF3 associates with beta-catenin. Similar findings have been obtained for gamma-catenin but not alpha-catenin. DF3, like E-cadherin and the adenomatous polyposis coli gene product, contains an SXXXXXSSL site that is responsible for direct binding to beta-catenin. The results further demonstrate that interaction of DF3 and beta-catenin is dependent on cell adhesion. These findings and the role of beta-catenin in cell signaling support a role for DF3 in the adhesion of epithelial cells.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1997;272;19;12492-4

  • M-cadherin-mediated cell adhesion and complex formation with the catenins in myogenic mouse cells.

    Kuch C, Winnekendonk D, Butz S, Unvericht U, Kemler R and Starzinski-Powitz A

    Institut der Anthropologie und Humangenetik für Biologen, Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

    M-cadherin is a member of the multigene family of calcium-dependent intercellular adhesion molecules, the cadherins, which are involved in morphogenetic processes. Amino acid comparisons between M-cadherin and E-, N-, and P-cadherin suggested that M-cadherin diverged phylogenetically very early from these classical cadherins. It has been shown that M-cadherin is expressed in prenatal and adult skeletal muscle. In the cerebellum, M-cadherin is present in an adherens-type junction which differs in its molecular composition from the E-cadherin-mediated adherens-type junctions. These and other findings raised the question of whether M-cadherin and the classical cadherins share basic biochemical properties, notably the calcium-dependent resistance to proteolysis, mediation of calcium-dependent intercellular adhesion, and the capability to form M-cadherin complexes with the catenins. Here we show that M-cadherin is resistant to trypsin digestion in the presence of calcium ions but at lower trypsin concentrations than E-cadherin. When ectopically expressed in LMTK- cells, M-cadherin mediated calcium-dependent cell aggregation. Finally, M-cadherin was capable of forming two distinct cytoplasmic complexes in myogenic cells, either with alpha-catenin/beta-catenin or with alpha-catenin/plakoglobin, as E-and N-cadherin, for example, have previously been shown to form. The relative amount of these complexes changed during differentiation from C2C12 myoblasts to myotubes, although the molecular composition of each complex was unaffected during differentiation. These results demonstrate that M-cadherin shares important features with the classical cadherins despite its phylogenetic divergence.

    Experimental cell research 1997;232;2;331-8

  • Identification of the domain of alpha-catenin involved in its association with beta-catenin and plakoglobin (gamma-catenin).

    Obama H and Ozawa M

    Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima 890, Japan.

    alpha-Catenin is a 102-kDa protein exhibiting homology to vincuin, and it forms complexes with cadherins or the tumor-suppressor gene product adenomatous polyposis coli through binding to beta-catenin or plakoglobin (gamma-catenin). The incorporation of alpha-catenin into the cadherin-catenin complexes is a prerequisite for expression of the cell-adhesive activity of cadherins. Using an in vitro assay system involving bacterially expressed proteins, we localized a region in alpha-catenin required for molecular interaction with beta-catenin and plakoglobin. Analysis of various truncated alpha-catenin molecules revealed that amino-terminal residues 48-163 are able to bind to beta-catenin and plakoglobin. Consistent with the observation that beta-catenin and plakoglobin bind to the same region of alpha-catenin, beta-catenin competed with the binding of plakoglobin to alpha-catenin and vice versa. Under the conditions used, beta-catenin bound to alpha-catenin with higher affinity than did plakoglobin. Scatchard analysis indicated that the affinity of the interaction between alpha-catenin and beta-catenin or that between alpha-catenin and plakoglobin was moderately strong (Kd = 3. 8 x 10(-8) and 7.7 x 10(-8), respectively). When transfected into L cells expressing E-cadherin, the amino-terminal region of alpha-catenin (from residue 1 to 226) formed complexes with beta-catenin supporting the in vitro binding experiment results.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1997;272;17;11017-20

  • Association of human protein-tyrosine phosphatase kappa with members of the armadillo family.

    Fuchs M, Müller T, Lerch MM and Ullrich A

    Department of Molecular Biology, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Am Klopferspitz 18A, 82152 Martinsried, Federal Republic of Germany.

    We have identified a human receptor-like protein-tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) in the mammary carcinoma cell line SK-BR-3, which represents the human homolog of murine PTPkappa (Jiang, Y.-P., Wang, H., D'Eustachio, P., Musacchio, J. M., Schlessinger, J., and Sap, J. (1993) Mol. Cell. Biol. 13, 2942-2951) and was therefore termed hPTPkappa. We show here that hPTPkappa expression is dependent on cell density and find it colocalized with two members of the arm family of proteins, beta-catenin and gamma-catenin/plakoglobin, at adherens junctions. Using both in vitro and in vivo binding assays, we demonstrate specific complex formation between endogenous hPTPkappa and beta- and gamma-catenin/plakoglobin. In addition, we present evidence that suggests that beta-catenin may represent a substrate for the catalytic activity of hPTPkappa. The identification of specific binding partners for this receptor-like PTP provides insight into the mechanisms of its biological action and suggests a role for hPTPkappa in the regulation of processes involving cell contact and adhesion such as growth control, tumor invasion, and metastasis.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1996;271;28;16712-9

  • Plakoglobin domains that define its association with the desmosomal cadherins and the classical cadherins: identification of unique and shared domains.

    Wahl JK, Sacco PA, McGranahan-Sadler TM, Sauppé LM, Wheelock MJ and Johnson KR

    Department of Biology, University of Toledo, OH 43606, USA.

    Two cell-cell junctions, the adherens junction and the desmosome, are prominent in epithelial cells. These junctions are composed of transmembrane cadherins which interact with cytoplasmic proteins that serve to link the cadherin to the cytoskeleton. One component of both adherens junctions and desmosomes is plakoglobin. In the adherens junction plakoglobin interacts with both the classical cadherin and with alpha-catenin. Alpha-catenin in turn interacts with microfilaments. The role plakoglobin plays in the desmosome is not well understood. Plakoglobin interacts with the desmosomal cadherins, but how and if this mediates interactions with the intermediate filament cytoskeleton is not known. Here we compare the domains of plakoglobin that allow it to associate with the desmosomal cadherins with those involved in interactions with the classical cadherins. We show that three sites on plakoglobin are involved in associations with the desmosomal cadherins. A domain near the N terminus is unique to the desmosomal cadherins and overlaps with the site that interacts with alpha-catenin, suggesting that there may be competition between alpha-catenin and the desmosomal cadherins for interactions with plakoglobin. In addition, a central domain is shared with regions used by plakoglobin to associate with the classical cadherins. Finally, a domain near the C terminus is shown to strongly modulate the interactions with the desmosomal cadherins. This latter domain also contributes to the association of plakoglobin with the classical cadherins.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: GM51188

    Journal of cell science 1996;109 ( Pt 5);1143-54

  • The fourth armadillo repeat of plakoglobin (gamma-catenin) is required for its high affinity binding to the cytoplasmic domains of E-cadherin and desmosomal cadherin Dsg2, and the tumor suppressor APC protein.

    Ozawa M, Terada H and Pedraza C

    Department of Biochemistry, Kagoshima University.

    Plakoglobin is a member of a protein family with a repeated amino acid motif, the armadillo repeat, and is a cytoplasmic protein found in both adherens junctions and desmosomes. Plakoglobin has been shown to form distinct complexes with cadherins or desmosomal cadherins. Also, plakoglobin has been shown to complex with APC, the tumor suppressor gene product. Recently we isolated a cDNA clone encoding plakoglobin lacking the fourth armadillo repeat of the original 13-repeat protein [Ozawa et al. (1995) J. Biochem. 118, 836-840]. In this study, we established an in vitro assay system to study the molecular interaction of plakoglobin with cadherins, the APC gene product, and alpha-catenin. Establishment of the system and cloning of an alternate form of plakoglobin cDNA allowed us to examine the biological activity of plakoglobin lacking the fourth armadillo repeat. Experiments with the bacterially expressed 12-repeat plakoglobin revealed that the protein binds to E-cadherin, desmoglein (Dsg2), and APC with lower affinity than the 13-repeat form does. Consistent with the observation that the affinity of alpha-catenin for these two alternate forms was similar, we found amino acid residues 104 to 145 of plakoglobin, the residues present in both isoforms, are sufficient for its binding to alpha-catenin.

    Journal of biochemistry 1995;118;5;1077-82

  • Cloning of an alternative form of plakoglobin (gamma-catenin) lacking the fourth armadillo repeat.

    Ozawa M, Nuruki K, Toyoyama H and Ohi Y

    Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University.

    Plakoglobin is a member of a protein family with a repeating amino acid motif called the armadillo repeat, and is a cytoplasmic protein found in both adherens junctions and desmosomes. Little is known about its function, but it has been shown to form distinct complexes with cadherins or desmosomal cadherins. Also, plakoglobin has been shown to form a complex with APC, a tumor suppressor gene product. We have isolated a cDNA clone encoding plakoglobin by means of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from a human transitional carcinoma cell line. The cDNA has the same nucleotide sequence as the previously published one [Franke et al. (1989) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86, 4027-4031], except that it has a deletion of 120 bp. The deleted sequence encodes the fourth armadillo repeat. Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA revealed that there is a single copy of the plakoglobin gene per haploid genome. Cloning and sequencing of a genomic DNA fragment containing the 120-bp deletion and the surrounding sequences revealed that these sequences are encoded by a single exon sequence. PCR amplification of the genomic DNA fragment of the corresponding region excluded the possible presence of the 120-bp deletion in the gene. Therefore the variant form is most likely derived through alternative splicing of precursor RNA transcripts in an exon sequence.

    Journal of biochemistry 1995;118;4;836-40

  • The tyrosine kinase substrate p120cas binds directly to E-cadherin but not to the adenomatous polyposis coli protein or alpha-catenin.

    Daniel JM and Reynolds AB

    Department of Tumor Cell Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.

    The tyrosine kinase substrate p120cas (CAS), which is structurally similar to the cell adhesion proteins beta-catenin and plakoglobin, was recently shown to associate with the E-cadherin-catenin cell adhesion complex. beta-catenin, plakoglobin, and CAS all have an Arm domain that consists of 10 to 13 repeats of a 42-amino-acid motif originally described in the Drosophila Armadillo protein. To determine if the association of CAS with the cadherin cell adhesion machinery is similar to that of beta-catenin and plakoglobin, we examined the CAS-cadherin-catenin interactions in a number of cell lines and in the yeast two-hybrid system. In the prostate carcinoma cell line PC3, CAS associated normally with cadherin complexes despite the specific absence of alpha-catenin in these cells. However, in the colon carcinoma cell line SW480, which has negligible E-cadherin expression, CAS did not associate with beta-catenin, plakoglobin, or alpha-catenin, suggesting that E-cadherin is the protein which bridges CAS to the rest of the complex. In addition, CAS did not associate with the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor protein in any of the cell lines analyzed. Interestingly, expression of the various CAS isoforms was quite heterogeneous in these tumor cell lines, and in the colon carcinoma cell line HCT116, which expresses normal levels of E-cadherin and the catenins, the CAS1 isoforms were completely absent. By using the yeast two-hybrid system, we confirmed the direct interaction between CAS and E-cadherin and determined that CAS Arm repeats 1 to 10 are necessary and sufficient for this interaction. Hence, like beta-catenin and plakoglobin, CAS interacts directly with E-cadherin in vivo; however, unlike beta-catenin and plakoglobin, CAS does not interact with APC or alpha-catenin.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA55724, P30 CA21756

    Molecular and cellular biology 1995;15;9;4819-24

  • Identification of plakoglobin domains required for association with N-cadherin and alpha-catenin.

    Sacco PA, McGranahan TM, Wheelock MJ and Johnson KR

    Department of Biology, University of Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA.

    Cadherins are calcium-dependent, cell surface glycoproteins involved in cell-cell adhesion. To function in cell-cell adhesion, the transmembrane cadherin molecule must be associated with the cytoskeleton via cytoplasmic proteins known as catenins. Three catenins, alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and gamma-catenin (also known as plakoglobin), have been identified. The domain of the cadherin molecule important for its interaction with the catenins has been mapped to the COOH-terminal 70 amino acids, but less is known about regions of the catenins that allow them to associate with one another or with the cadherin molecule. In this study we have transfected carboxyl-terminal deletions of plakoglobin into the human fibrosarcoma HT-1080 and used immunofluorescence localization and co-immunoprecipitation to map the regions of plakoglobin that allow it to associate with N-cadherin and with alpha-catenin. Plakoglobin is an armadillo family member containing 13 weakly similar internal repeats. These data show that the alpha-catenin-binding region maps within the first repeat and the N-cadherin-binding region maps within repeats 7 and 8.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: GM51188

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1995;270;34;20201-6

  • The human plakoglobin gene localizes on chromosome 17q21 and is subjected to loss of heterozygosity in breast and ovarian cancers.

    Aberle H, Bierkamp C, Torchard D, Serova O, Wagner T, Natt E, Wirsching J, Heidkämper C, Montagna M, Lynch HT et al.

    Max-Planck-Institut für Immunobiologie, Freiburg, Germany.

    The gene encoding human plakoglobin was mapped to chromosome 17q12-q22. An intragenic restriction fragment length polymorphism was used to localize the plakoglobin gene distal to locus KRT10 and proximal to the marker D17S858. The plakoglobin gene colocalizes with the polymorphic 17q21 marker UM8 on the same cosmid insert. This subregion of chromosome 17 is known to be particularly subjected to genetic alterations in sporadic breast and ovarian tumors. We show loss of heterozygosity of the plakoglobin gene in breast and ovarian tumors. We have identified a low-frequency polymorphism in the plakoglobin coding sequence which results in an arginine to histidine substitution at amino acid position 142 of the protein, as well as a silent mutation at nucleotide position 332 of the coding sequence. This polymorphism allowed us to demonstrate an allelic association of plakoglobin with predisposition to familial breast and ovarian cancers. Our results, together with the present knowledge about the biological function of plakoglobin, suggest that plakoglobin might represent a putative tumor suppressor gene for breast and ovarian cancers.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1995;92;14;6384-8

  • Tyrosine phosphorylation regulates the adhesions of ras-transformed breast epithelia.

    Kinch MS, Clark GJ, Der CJ and Burridge K

    Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599, USA.

    Transformed epithelial cells often are characterized by a fibroblastic or mesenchymal morphology. These cells exhibit altered cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions. Here we have identified changes in the adhesions and cytoskeletal interactions of transformed epithelial cells that contribute to their altered morphology. Using MCF-10A human breast epithelial cells as a model system, we have found that transformation by an activated form of ras is characterized by less developed adherens-type junctions between cells but increased focal adhesions. Contributing to the modified adherens junctions of the transformed cells are decreased interactions among beta-catenin, E-cadherin, and the actin cytoskeleton. The ras-transformed cells reveal elevated phosphotyrosine in many proteins, including beta-catenin and p120 Cas. Whereas in the normal cells beta-catenin is found in association with E-cadherin, p120 Cas is not. In the ras-transformed cells, the situation is reversed; tyrosine-phosphorylated p120 Cas, but not tyrosine-phosphorylated beta-catenin, now is detected in E-cadherin complexes. The tyrosine-phosphorylated beta-catenin also shows increased detergent solubility, suggesting a decreased association with the actin cytoskeleton. p120 Cas, whether tyrosine phosphorylated or not, partitions into the detergent soluble fraction, suggesting that it is not tightly bound to the actin cytoskeleton in either the normal or ras-transformed cells. Inhibitors of tyrosine kinases decrease the level of tyrosine phosphorylation and restore a normal epithelial morphology to the ras-transformed cells. In particular, decreased tyrosine phosphorylation of beta-catenin is accompanied by increased interaction with both E-cadherin and the detergent insoluble cytoskeletal fraction. These results suggest that elevated tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins such as beta-catenin and p120 Cas contribute to the altered adherens junctions of ras-transformed epithelia.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 5 T32 CA09156; NHLBI NIH HHS: HL-45100; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM-29860

    The Journal of cell biology 1995;130;2;461-71

  • Plakoglobin binding by human Dsg3 (pemphigus vulgaris antigen) in keratinocytes requires the cadherin-like intracytoplasmic segment.

    Roh JY and Stanley JR

    Dermatology Branch, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

    Desmogleins are transmembrane desmosomal cadherins. Two desmogleins, Dsg3 and Dsg1, have been shown to bind plakoglobin, an intracytoplasmic (IC) desmosomal plaque protein. This binding may be critical for desmosome assembly or stability. The IC domain of desmogleins consists of subdomains that are either desmoglein specific or homologous with the IC region of classical cadherins. Here we identify the domains of human Dsg3 that are critical for plakoglobin binding in human keratinocytes. We constructed eukaryotic expression vectors containing chimeric cDNAs that encode the extracellular domain of mouse E-cadherin (Ecad) with the transmembrane and IC domains of Dsg3, with increasing truncations eliminating various IC subdomains from the carboxy-terminus. These constructs were used for transient transfection of HaCaT cells. Extracts were subjected to immunoprecipition with an anti-mouse Ecad antibody (that does not precipitate human Ecad), thus precipitating the chimeric protein and any tightly associated plakoglobin. Co-precipitation of plakoglobin was confirmed by immunoblotting. These data show that the desmoglein-specific IC subdomains are not necessary for plakoglobin binding, but the carboxy-terminal 87 amino acids of the IC-cadherin-like segment subdomain are critical. Finally, we confirmed these results outside cells with in vitro transcription and translation, which also demonstrates that the Dsg3-plakoglobin interaction is direct and does not depend on other cellular factors. These results underscore the importance of a region, highly conserved in all desmogleins, in the carboxy terminus of the IC-cadherin-like subdomain for the localization of plakoglobin to desmosomes.

    The Journal of investigative dermatology 1995;104;5;720-4

  • c-erbB-2 gene product directly associates with beta-catenin and plakoglobin.

    Kanai Y, Ochiai A, Shibata T, Oyama T, Ushijima S, Akimoto S and Hirohashi S

    Pathology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.

    Association of the c-erbB-2 oncogene product with the cadherin-catenin complex has been demonstrated in human cancer cell lines. Although beta-catenin and plakoglobin have been proven to be crucial for the association, no previous study has shown whether the interactions are direct or indirect. In the present study, the c-erbB-2 gene product was shown by far-Western blotting analysis to associate directly with both beta-catenin and plakoglobin through its cytoplasmic domain core region, which showed extensive homology with epidermal growth factor receptor. These data suggest that c-erbB-2-induced signaling is also directly liked to the cadherin-mediated cell adhesion and "invasion-suppressor" system through beta-catenin and plakoglobin in cancers.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 1995;208;3;1067-72

  • The APC protein and E-cadherin form similar but independent complexes with alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and plakoglobin.

    Rubinfeld B, Souza B, Albert I, Munemitsu S and Polakis P

    Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Richmond, California 94806.

    The tumor suppressor APC protein associates with the cadherin-binding proteins alpha- and beta-catenin. To examine the relationship between cadherin, catenins, and APC, we have tested combinatorial protein-protein interactions in vivo, using a yeast two-hybrid system, and in vitro, using purified proteins. beta-Catenin directly binds to APC at high and low affinity sites. alpha-Catenin cannot directly bind APC but associates with it by binding to beta-catenin. Plakoglobin, also known as gamma-catenin, directly binds to both APC and alpha-catenin and also to the APC-beta-catenin complex, but not directly to beta-catenin. beta-Catenin binds to multiple independent regions of APC, some of which include a previously identified consensus motif and others which contain the centrally located 20 amino acid repeat sequences. The APC binding site on beta-catenin may be discontinuous since neither the carboxyl- nor amino-terminal halves of beta-catenin will independently associate with APC, although the amino-terminal half independently binds alpha-catenin. The catenins bind to APC and E-cadherin in a similar fashion, but APC and E-cadherin do not associate with each other either in the presence or absence of catenins. Thus, APC forms distinct heteromeric complexes containing combinations of alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and plakoglobin which are independent from the cadherin-catenin complexes.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1995;270;10;5549-55

  • Association of p120, a tyrosine kinase substrate, with E-cadherin/catenin complexes.

    Shibamoto S, Hayakawa M, Takeuchi K, Hori T, Miyazawa K, Kitamura N, Johnson KR, Wheelock MJ, Matsuyoshi N, Takeichi M et al.

    Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Setsunan University, Osaka, Japan.

    p120 was originally identified as a substrate of pp60src and several receptor tyrosine kinases, but its function is not known. Recent studies revealed that this protein shows homology to a group of proteins, beta-catenin/Armadillo and plakoglobin (gamma-catenin), which are associated with the cell adhesion molecules cadherins. In this study, we examined whether p120 is associated with E-cadherin using the human carcinoma cell line HT29, as well as other cell lines, which express both of these proteins. When proteins that copurified with E-cadherin were analyzed, not only alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and plakoglobin but also p120 were detected. Conversely, immunoprecipitates of p120 contained E-cadherin and all the catenins, although a large subpopulation of p120 was not associated with E-cadherin. Analysis of these immunoprecipitates suggests that 20% or less of the extractable E-cadherin is associated with p120. When p120 immunoprecipitation was performed with cell lysates depleted of E-cadherin, beta-catenin was no longer coprecipitated, and the amount of plakoglobin copurified was greatly reduced. This finding suggests that there are various forms of p120 complexes, including p120/E-cadherin/beta-catenin and p120/E-cadherin/plakoglobin complexes; this association profile contrasts with the mutually exclusive association of beta-catenin and plakoglobin with cadherins. When the COOH-terminal catenin binding site was truncated from E-cadherin, not only beta-catenin but also p120 did not coprecipitate with this mutated E-cadherin. Immunocytological studies showed that p120 colocalized with E-cadherin at cell-cell contact sites, even after non-ionic detergent extraction. Treatment of cells with hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor altered the level of tyrosine phosphorylation of p120 as well as of beta-catenin and plakoglobin. These results suggest that p120 associates with E-cadherin at its COOH-terminal region, but the mechanism for this association differs from that for the association of beta-catenin and plakoglobin with E-cadherin, and thus, that p120, whose function could be modulated by growth factors, may play a unique role in regulation of the cadherin-catenin adhesion system.

    The Journal of cell biology 1995;128;5;949-57

  • Posttranslational regulation of plakoglobin expression. Influence of the desmosomal cadherins on plakoglobin metabolic stability.

    Kowalczyk AP, Palka HL, Luu HH, Nilles LA, Anderson JE, Wheelock MJ and Green KJ

    Northwestern University Medical School, Department of Pathology, Chicago, Illinois 60611.

    Desmosomes are adhesive intercellular junctions that act as cell surface attachment sites for intermediate filaments. The desmosomal glycoproteins, desmogleins and desmocollins, are members of the cadherin family of adhesion molecules. In addition, desmoglein has been shown to coimmunoprecipitate with the junctional protein plakoglobin. To characterize further the interaction between plakoglobin and the desmosomal cadherins, stable mouse fibroblast (L-cells) cell lines were generated that express plakoglobin, desmoglein and plakoglobin, or desmocollin and plakoglobin. L-cell lines transfected with a plasmid encoding human plakoglobin expressed plakoglobin mRNA but very little plakoglobin protein. However, plakoglobin protein was expressed at high levels in L-cells coexpressing either desmoglein or desmocollin. In addition, both desmocollin and desmoglein were found to coimmunoprecipitate with plakoglobin. The transient expression of desmoglein in L-cell lines expressing plakoglobin mRNA resulted in the formation of a complex between plakoglobin and desmoglein and in the accumulation of plakoglobin protein. Furthermore, the rate of plakoglobin protein degradation was decreased by 15-20-fold in cell lines expressing either desmoglein or desmocollin. These results demonstrate that the desmosomal cadherins posttranslationally regulate plakoglobin expression by decreasing the rate of plakoglobin degradation.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: AR41836

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1994;269;49;31214-23

  • E-cadherin and APC compete for the interaction with beta-catenin and the cytoskeleton.

    Hülsken J, Birchmeier W and Behrens J

    Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany.

    beta-Catenin is involved in the formation of adherens junctions of mammalian epithelia. It interacts with the cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin and also with the tumor suppressor gene product APC, and the Drosophila homologue of beta-catenin, armadillo, mediates morphogenetic signals. We demonstrate here that E-cadherin and APC directly compete for binding to the internal, armadillo-like repeats of beta-catenin; the NH2-terminal domain of beta-catenin mediates the interaction of the alternative E-cadherin and APC complexes to the cytoskeleton by binding to alpha-catenin. Plakoglobin (gamma-catenin), which is structurally related to beta-catenin, mediates identical interactions. We thus show that the APC tumor suppressor gene product forms strikingly similar associations as found in cell junctions and suggest that beta-catenin and plakoglobin are central regulators of cell adhesion, cytoskeletal interaction, and tumor suppression.

    The Journal of cell biology 1994;127;6 Pt 2;2061-9

  • Identification of amino acid sequence motifs in desmocollin, a desmosomal glycoprotein, that are required for plakoglobin binding and plaque formation.

    Troyanovsky SM, Troyanovsky RB, Eshkind LG, Leube RE and Franke WW

    Division of Cell Biology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg.

    By transfecting epithelial cells with gene constructs encoding chimeric proteins of the transmembrane part of the gap junction protein connexin 32 in combination with various segments of the cytoplasmic part of the desmosomal cadherin desmocollin 1a, we have determined that a relatively short sequence element is necessary for the formation of desmosome-like plaques and for the specific anchorage of bundles of intermediate-sized filaments (IFs). Deletion of as little as the carboxyl-terminal 37 aa resulted in a lack of IF anchorage and binding of the plaque protein plakoglobin, as shown by immunolocalization and immunoprecipitation experiments. In addition, we show that the sequence requirements for the recruitment of desmoplakin, another desmosomal plaque protein, differ and that a short (10 aa) segment of the desmocollin 1a tail, located close to the plasma membrane, is also required for the binding of plakoglobin, as well as of desmoplakin, and also for IF anchorage. The importance of the carboxyl-terminal domain, homologous in diverse types of cadherins, is emphasized, as it must harbor, in a mutually exclusive pattern, the information for assembly of the IF-anchoring desmosomal plaque in desmocollins and for formation of the alpha-/beta-catenin- and vinculin-containing, actin filament-anchoring plaque in E- and N-cadherin.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1994;91;23;10790-4

  • Association of plakoglobin with APC, a tumor suppressor gene product, and its regulation by tyrosine phosphorylation.

    Shibata T, Gotoh M, Ochiai A and Hirohashi S

    Pathology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.

    Plakoglobin is a cytoplasmic protein localized in both adherens junctions and desmosomes. Little is known about its function, but it may play a role in maintaining cell junction integrity. A partly homologous protein, beta catenin, is localized mainly in adherens junctions and plays a key role in cell adhesion by associating with cadherins, a family of Ca2+ dependent cell-to-cell adhesion molecules. Recently the product of APC, a tumor suppressor gene, was found to associate with beta catenin. In this study we demonstrated that plakoglobin also associates with APC and that tyrosine phosphorylated plakoglobin associates with cadherins but not with APC. These results suggest that plakoglobin could play a role in mediating the signals of APC by mutual interaction and that this may be regulated by tyrosine phosphorylation.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 1994;203;1;519-22

  • Dynamics of cadherin/catenin complex formation: novel protein interactions and pathways of complex assembly.

    Hinck L, Näthke IS, Papkoff J and Nelson WJ

    Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5426.

    Calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion is mediated by the cadherin family of cell adhesion proteins. Transduction of cadherin adhesion into cellular reorganization is regulated by cytosolic proteins, termed alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin (plakoglobin), that bind to the cytoplasmic domain of cadherins and link them to the cytoskeleton. Previous studies of cadherin/catenin complex assembly and organization relied on the coimmunoprecipitation of the complex with cadherin antibodies, and were limited to the analysis of the Triton X-100 (TX-100)-soluble fraction of these proteins. These studies concluded that only one complex exists which contains cadherin and all of the catenins. We raised antibodies specific for each catenin to analyze each protein independent of its association with E-cadherin. Extracts of Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells were sequentially immunoprecipitated and immunoblotted with each antibody, and the results showed that there were complexes of E-cadherin/alpha-catenin, and either beta-catenin or plakoglobin in the TX-100-soluble fraction. We analyzed the assembly of cadherin/catenin complexes in the TX-100-soluble fraction by [35S]methionine pulse-chase labeling, followed by sucrose density gradient fractionation of proteins. Immediately after synthesis, E-cadherin, beta-catenin, and plakoglobin cosedimented as complexes. alpha-Catenin was not associated with these complexes after synthesis, but a subpopulation of alpha-catenin joined the complex at a time coincident with the arrival of E-cadherin at the plasma membrane. The arrival of E-cadherin at the plasma membrane coincided with an increase in its insolubility in TX-100, but extraction of this insoluble pool with 1% SDS disrupted the cadherin/catenin complex. Therefore, to examine protein complex assembly in both the TX-100-soluble and -insoluble fractions, we used [35S]methionine labeling followed by chemical cross-linking before cell extraction. Analysis of cross-linked complexes from cells labeled to steady state indicates that, in addition to cadherin/catenin complexes, there were cadherin-independent pools of catenins present in both the TX-100-soluble and -insoluble fractions. Metabolic labeling followed by chase showed that immediately after synthesis, cadherin/beta-catenin, and cadherin/plakoglobin complexes were present in the TX-100-soluble fraction. Approximately 50% of complexes were titrated into the TX-100-insoluble fraction coincident with the arrival of the complexes at the plasma membrane and the assembly of alpha-catenin. Subsequently, > 90% of labeled cadherin, but no additional labeled catenin complexes, entered the TX-100-insoluble fraction.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

    The Journal of cell biology 1994;125;6;1327-40

  • Stratification-related expression of isoforms of the desmosomal cadherins in human epidermis.

    Arnemann J, Sullivan KH, Magee AI, King IA and Buxton RS

    Laboratory of Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, United Kingdom.

    Desmosomal junctions are abundant in epidermis and contain two classes of transmembrane glycoprotein, the desmocollins and the desmogleins, which are members of the cadherin superfamily of Ca(2+)-dependent cell adhesion molecules. The desmocollin subfamily includes DGIV/V and DGII/III while the desmoglein subfamily includes DGI, HDGC and the autoantigen of the blistering skin disease pemphigus vulgaris (PVA). There are also several non-glycosylated proteins, including the desmoplakins and plakoglobin, present in the desmosomal plaque, which forms a link between the glycoproteins and the cytokeratin intermediate filaments. To provide a picture of the expression of the desmosomal genes and their products in epidermis, we have used in situ hybridisation and immunofluorescence staining on sections of human foreskin. We find that, as expected, desmoplakin DPI/II and plakoglobin are expressed throughout the epidermis, gradually accumulating during differentiation, which probably reflects the increased numbers of desmosomes. In contrast, while keratin 14 and the hemidesmosomal component bullous pemphigoid antigen I (BPAGI) are basal-specific, desmocollin DGIV/V is expressed only in the upper spinous/granular layers of the epidermis, whereas DGII/III expression is enriched in the basal layers. Amongst the desmogleins, expression of DGI appears similar to desmoplakin and plakoglobin; PVA is more prevalent in the lower spinous layers, whereas HDGC expression is detected basally but not suprabasally. The major desmosomal cadherin transcripts are desmocollin DGIV/V and desmoglein DGI. The resultant changes in desmosomal composition and structure may reflect the maturation of desmosomes, presumably being related to the need for changes in cell adhesion during stratification, terminal differentiation, and desquamation, and point to the desmosome being a key player in epidermal differentiation.

    Journal of cell science 1993;104 ( Pt 3);741-50

  • Plakoglobin, or an 83-kD homologue distinct from beta-catenin, interacts with E-cadherin and N-cadherin.

    Knudsen KA and Wheelock MJ

    Lankenau Medical Research Center, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania 19096.

    E- and N-cadherin are members of a family of calcium-dependent, cell surface glycoproteins involved in cell-cell adhesion. Extracellularly, the transmembrane cadherins self-associate, while, intracellularly, they interact with the actin-based cytoskeleton. Several intracellular proteins, collectively termed catenins, have been noted to co-immunoprecipitate with E- and N-cadherin and are thought to be involved in linking the cadherins to the cytoskeleton. Two catenins have been identified recently: a 102-kD vinculin-like protein (alpha-catenin) and a 92-kD Drosophila armadillo/plakoglobin-like protein (beta-catenin). Here, we show that plakoglobin, or an 83-kD plakoglobin-like protein, co-immunoprecipitates and colocalizes with both E- and N-cadherin. The 83-kD protein is immunologically distinct from the 92-kD beta-catenin and, because of its molecular mass, likely represents the cadherin-associated protein called gamma-catenin. Thus, two different members of a plakoglobin family associate with N- and E-cadherin and, together with the 102-kD alpha-catenin, appear to participate in linking the cadherins to the actin-based cytoskeleton.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 44464; NIAMS NIH HHS: AR 37945

    The Journal of cell biology 1992;118;3;671-9

  • Chromosomal assignment of the human genes coding for the major proteins of the desmosome junction, desmoglein DGI (DSG), desmocollins DGII/III (DSC), desmoplakins DPI/II (DSP), and plakoglobin DPIII (JUP).

    Arnemann J, Spurr NK, Wheeler GN, Parker AE and Buxton RS

    Laboratory of Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics, National Institute for Medical Research, London, United Kingdom.

    We have established PCR assays for the genes coding for the major proteins of the desmosome type of cell junction, the desmosomal cadherins DGI (desmoglein) and DGII/III (desmocollins), and the plaque proteins DPI/II (desmoplakin) and DPIII (plakoglobin) and used them to test human-mouse and human-rat somatic cell hybrids with different contents of human chromosomes. From these data we were able to assign DGI to chromosome 18 (DSG), DGII/III to chromosome 9p (DSC), DPI/II to chromosome 6p21-ter(DSP), and DPIII to chromosome 7 (JUP).

    Genomics 1991;10;3;640-5

  • Molecular cloning and amino acid sequence of human plakoglobin, the common junctional plaque protein.

    Franke WW, Goldschmidt MD, Zimbelmann R, Mueller HM, Schiller DL and Cowin P

    Division of Membrane Biology and Biochemistry, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg.

    Plakoglobin is a major cytoplasmic protein that occurs in a soluble and a membrane-associated form and is the only known constituent common to the submembranous plaques of both kinds of adhering junctions, the desmosomes and the intermediate junctions. Using a partial cDNA clone for bovine plakoglobin, we isolated cDNAs encoding human plakoglobin, determined its nucleotide sequence, and deduced the complete amino acid sequence. The polypeptide encoded by the cDNA was synthesized by in vitro transcription and translation and identified by its comigration with authentic plakoglobin in two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. The identity was further confirmed by comparison of the deduced sequence with the directly determined amino acid sequence of two fragments from bovine plakoglobin. Analysis of the plakoglobin sequence showed the protein (744 amino acids; 81,750 Da) to be unrelated to any other known proteins, highly conserved between human and bovine tissues, and characterized by numerous changes between hydrophilic and hydrophobic sections. Only one kind of plakoglobin mRNA (3.4 kilobases) was found in most tissues, but an additional mRNA (3.7 kilobases) was detected in certain human tumor cell lines. This longer mRNA may be represented by a second type of plakoglobin cDNA, which contains an insertion of 297 nucleotides in the 3' non-coding region.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1989;86;11;4027-31

Gene lists (5)

Gene List Source Species Name Description Gene count
L00000009 G2C Homo sapiens Human PSD Human orthologues of mouse PSD adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1080
L00000016 G2C Homo sapiens Human PSP Human orthologues of mouse PSP adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1121
L00000061 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-CONSENSUS Mouse cortex PSD consensus (ortho) 984
L00000069 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-HUMAN-PSD-FULL Human cortex biopsy PSD full list 1461
L00000071 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-FULL Mouse cortex PSD full list (ortho) 1556
© G2C 2014. The Genes to Cognition Programme received funding from The Wellcome Trust and the EU FP7 Framework Programmes:
EUROSPIN (FP7-HEALTH-241498), SynSys (FP7-HEALTH-242167) and GENCODYS (FP7-HEALTH-241995).

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