G2Cdb::Gene report

Gene id
G00002262
Gene symbol
PLEC (HGNC)
Species
Homo sapiens
Description
plectin
Orthologue
G00001013 (Mus musculus)

Databases (8)

Gene
ENSG00000178209 (Ensembl human gene)
5339 (Entrez Gene)
1033 (G2Cdb plasticity & disease)
PLEC1 (GeneCards)
Literature
601282 (OMIM)
Marker Symbol
HGNC:9069 (HGNC)
Protein Expression
3847 (human protein atlas)
Protein Sequence
Q15149 (UniProt)

Synonyms (2)

  • PCN
  • PLTN

Literature (68)

Pubmed - other

  • Plectin gene defects lead to various forms of epidermolysis bullosa simplex.

    Rezniczek GA, Walko G and Wiche G

    Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, Dr.-Bohr-Gasse 9, 1030 Vienna, Austria.

    Plectin is an important organizer of the keratin filament cytoskeleton in basal keratinocytes. It is essential for anchoring these filaments to the extracellular matrix via hemidesmosomal integrins. Loss of plectin or incorrect function of the protein due to mutations in its gene can lead to various forms of the skin blistering disease, epidermolysis bullosa simplex. Severity and subtype of the disease is dependent on the specific mutation and can be associated with (late-onset) muscular dystrophy or pyloric atresia. Mouse models mimicking the human phenotypes allow detailed study of plectin function.

    Funded by: Austrian Science Fund FWF: P 17862, P 20744

    Dermatologic clinics 2010;28;1;33-41

  • BRCA2 interacts with the cytoskeletal linker protein plectin to form a complex controlling centrosome localization.

    Niwa T, Saito H, Imajoh-ohmi S, Kaminishi M, Seto Y, Miki Y and Nakanishi A

    Department of Endocrine Surgery and Gastrointestinal Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

    The breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA2) is localized mainly in the nucleus where it plays an important role in DNA damage repair. Some BRCA2 protein is also present in the centrosome. Here, we demonstrate that BRCA2 interacts with plectin, a cytoskeletal cross-linker protein, and that this interaction controls the position of the centrosome. Phosphorylation of plectin by cyclin-dependent kinase 1/cyclin B (CDK1/CycB) kinase has been reported to abolish its cross-linking function during mitosis. Here, we induced phosphorylation of plectin in prepared fractions of HeLa cells by adding activated CDK1/CycB kinase. Consequently, there was significant dissociation of the centrosome from the nuclear membrane. Plectin has six homologous ankyrin-like repeat domains (termed PLEC M1-M6). Using a pull-down assay, we found that GST-PLEC M1 and a GST-C-terminal region fusion protein (which comprised PLEC M6, along with an adjacent vimentin site) interacted with BRCA2. Since each PLEC module exhibits high homology to the others, the possibility of all six domains participating in this interaction was indicated. Moreover, when PLEC M1 was overexpressed in HeLa cells, it competed with endogenous plectin and inhibited the BRCA2-plectin interaction. This inhibitory effect resulted in dissociation of the centrosomes from the nucleus and increased the rate of micronuclei formation which may lead to carcinogenesis. In addition, when either BRCA2 or plectin was suppressed by the appropriate siRNA, a similar change in centrosomal positioning was observed. We suggest that the BRCA2-plectin interaction plays an important role in the regulation of centrosome localization and also that displacement of the centrosome may result in genomic instability and cancer development.

    Cancer science 2009;100;11;2115-25

  • 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

  • Recruitment of vimentin to the cell surface by beta3 integrin and plectin mediates adhesion strength.

    Bhattacharya R, Gonzalez AM, Debiase PJ, Trejo HE, Goldman RD, Flitney FW and Jones JC

    Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.

    Much effort has been expended on analyzing how microfilament and microtubule cytoskeletons dictate the interaction of cells with matrix at adhesive sites called focal adhesions (FAs). However, vimentin intermediate filaments (IFs) also associate with the cell surface at FAs in endothelial cells. Here, we show that IF recruitment to FAs in endothelial cells requires beta3 integrin, plectin and the microtubule cytoskeleton, and is dependent on microtubule motors. In CHO cells, which lack beta3 integrin but contain vimentin, IFs appear to be collapsed around the nucleus, whereas in CHO cells expressing beta3 integrin (CHOwtbeta3), vimentin IFs extend to FAs at the cell periphery. This recruitment is regulated by tyrosine residues in the beta3 integrin cytoplasmic tail. Moreover, CHOwtbeta3 cells exhibit significantly greater adhesive strength than CHO or CHO cells expressing mutated beta3 integrin proteins. These differences require an intact vimentin network. Therefore, vimentin IF recruitment to the cell surface is tightly regulated and modulates the strength of adhesion of cells to their substrate.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL067016, R01 HL092963, R01 HL092963-02; NIAMS NIH HHS: AR054184, R01 AR054184, R01 AR054184-18; NIGMS NIH HHS: T32 GM008152

    Journal of cell science 2009;122;Pt 9;1390-400

  • Structural basis of the interaction between integrin alpha6beta4 and plectin at the hemidesmosomes.

    de Pereda JM, Lillo MP and Sonnenberg A

    Department of Structural Biology, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular del Cáncer, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Universidad de Salamanca, Campus Unamuno, Salamanca, Spain. pereda@usal.es

    The interaction between the integrin alpha6beta4 and plectin is essential for the assembly and stability of hemidesmosomes, which are junctional adhesion complexes that anchor epithelial cells to the basement membrane. We describe the crystal structure at 2.75 A resolution of the primary alpha6beta4-plectin complex, formed by the first pair of fibronectin type III domains and the N-terminal region of the connecting segment of beta4 and the actin-binding domain of plectin. Two missense mutations in beta4 (R1225H and R1281W) linked to nonlethal forms of epidermolysis bullosa prevent essential intermolecular contacts. We also present two structures at 1.75 and 2.05 A resolution of the beta4 moiety in the absence of plectin, which reveal a major rearrangement of the connecting segment of beta4 on binding to plectin. This conformational switch is correlated with the way alpha6beta4 promotes stable adhesion or cell migration and suggests an allosteric control of the integrin.

    The EMBO journal 2009;28;8;1180-90

  • Prefrontal cortex shotgun proteome analysis reveals altered calcium homeostasis and immune system imbalance in schizophrenia.

    Martins-de-Souza D, Gattaz WF, Schmitt A, Rewerts C, Maccarrone G, Dias-Neto E and Turck CW

    Laboratório de Neurociências, Instituto de Psiquiatria, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua. Dr. Ovidio Pires de Campos, no 785, Consolação, São Paulo, SP 05403-010, Brazil.

    Schizophrenia is a complex disease, likely to be caused by a combination of serial alterations in a number of genes and environmental factors. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's Area 46) is involved in schizophrenia and executes high-level functions such as working memory, differentiation of conflicting thoughts, determination of right and wrong concepts and attitudes, correct social behavior and personality expression. Global proteomic analysis of post-mortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex samples from schizophrenia patients and non-schizophrenic individuals was performed using stable isotope labeling and shotgun proteomics. The analysis resulted in the identification of 1,261 proteins, 84 of which showed statistically significant differential expression, reinforcing previous data supporting the involvement of the immune system, calcium homeostasis, cytoskeleton assembly, and energy metabolism in schizophrenia. In addition a number of new potential markers were found that may contribute to the understanding of the pathogenesis of this complex disease.

    European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience 2009;259;3;151-63

  • Plectin isoform 1b mediates mitochondrion-intermediate filament network linkage and controls organelle shape.

    Winter L, Abrahamsberg C and Wiche G

    Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, 1030 Vienna, Austria.

    Plectin is a versatile intermediate filament (IF)-bound cytolinker protein with a variety of differentially spliced isoforms accounting for its multiple functions. One particular isoform, plectin 1b (P1b), remains associated with mitochondria after biochemical fractionation of fibroblasts and cells expressing exogenous P1b. Here, we determined that P1b is inserted into the outer mitochondrial membrane with the exon 1b-encoded N-terminal sequence serving as a mitochondrial targeting and anchoring signal. To study P1b-related mitochondrial functions, we generated mice that selectively lack this isoform but express all others. In primary fibroblasts and myoblasts derived from these mice, we observe a substantial elongation of mitochondrial networks, whereas other mitochondrial properties remain largely unaffected. Normal morphology of mitochondria could be restored by isoform-specific overexpression of P1b in P1b-deficient as well as plectin-null cells. We propose a model where P1b both forms a mitochondrial signaling platform and affects organelle shape and network formation by tethering mitochondria to IFs.

    Funded by: Austrian Science Fund FWF: P 17862

    The Journal of cell biology 2008;181;6;903-11

  • Plectin regulates the signaling and trafficking of the HIV-1 co-receptor CXCR4 and plays a role in HIV-1 infection.

    Ding Y, Zhang L, Goodwin JS, Wang Z, Liu B, Zhang J and Fan GH

    Department of Veterans Affairs, Nashville, TN 37212, USA.

    The CXC chemokine CXCL12 and its cognate receptor CXCR4 play an important role in inflammation, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and cancer metastasis. The signal transduction and intracellular trafficking of CXCR4 are involved in these functions, but the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. In the present study, we demonstrated that the CXCR4 formed a complex with the cytolinker protein plectin in a ligand-dependent manner in HEK293 cells stably expressing CXCR4. The glutathione-S-transferase (GST)-CXCR4 C-terminal fusion proteins co-precipitated with the full-length and the N-terminal fragments of plectin isoform 1 but not with the N-terminal deletion mutants of plectin isoform 1, thereby suggesting an interaction between the N-terminus of plectin and the C-terminus of CXCR4. This interaction was confirmed by confocal microscopic reconstructions showing co-distribution of these two proteins in the internal vesicles after ligand-induced internalization of CXCR4 in HEK293 cells stably expressing CXCR4. Knockdown of plectin with RNA interference (RNAi) significantly inhibited ligand-dependent CXCR4 internalization and attenuated CXCR4-mediated intracellular calcium mobilization and activation of extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). CXCL12-induced chemotaxis of HEK293 cells stably expressing CXCR4 and of Jurkat T cells was inhibited by the plectin RNAi. Moreover, CXCR4 tropic HIV-1 infection in MAGI (HeLa-CD4-LTR-Gal) cells was inhibited by the RNAi of plectin. Thus, plectin appears to interact with CXCR4 and plays an important role in CXCR4 signaling and trafficking and HIV-1 infection.

    Funded by: NCRR NIH HHS: G12 RR003032, RR03032-19, U54 RR019192, U54RR019192-04; NINDS NIH HHS: U54 NS041071, U54 NS041071-07, U54NS041071-06

    Experimental cell research 2008;314;3;590-602

  • Cytolinker cross-talk: periplakin N-terminus interacts with plectin to regulate keratin organisation and epithelial migration.

    Boczonadi V, McInroy L and Määttä A

    Centre for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham, DH1 3LE, Durham, UK.

    Periplakin is a cytoskeletal linker protein that participates in the assembly of epidermal cell cornified envelope and regulates keratin organisation in simple epithelial cells. We have generated a stably transfected MCF-7 subclone expressing HA-tagged periplakin N-terminus to identify molecular interactions of periplakin. Co-immunoprecipitation with anti-HA antibodies and mass spectrometry identified a 500-kDa periplakin-interacting protein as plectin, another plakin family member. Plectin-periplakin interaction was confirmed by immunoblotting of complexes immunoprecipitated by either anti-HA or anti-plectin antibodies. Transient transfections of periplakin deletion constructs indicated that first 133 amino acid residues of the N-terminus are sufficient for co-localisation with plectin at MCF-7 cell borders. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated that periplakin and plectin isoforms 1, 1f and 1k co-localise at cell borders of MCF-7 epithelia and that plectin-1f and 1k co-localise with periplakin in suprabasal epidermis. Ablation of plectin by siRNA in HaCaT keratinocytes resulted in aggregation of periplakin to small clusters. Scratch-wounded MCF-7 epithelia expressing periplakin N-terminus showed accelerated keratin re-organisation that was inhibited by siRNA knock-down of plectin. Finally, ablation of either periplakin or plectin, or both proteins simultaneously, impaired migration of MCF-7 epithelial sheets. Thus, we have identified a novel functional co-localisation between two plakin cytolinker proteins.

    Experimental cell research 2007;313;16;3579-91

  • Plakins in development and disease.

    Sonnenberg A and Liem RK

    Division of Cell Biology, The Netherlands Cancer Inst., Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands. a.sonnenberg@nki.nl

    Plakins are large multi-domain molecules that have various functions to link cytoskeletal elements together and to connect them to junctional complexes. Plakins were first identified in epithelial cells where they were found to connect the intermediate filaments to desmosomes and hemidesmosomes [Ruhrberg, C., and Watt, F.M. (1997). The plakin family: versatile organizers of cytoskeletal architecture. Curr Opin Genet Dev 7, 392-397.]. They were subsequently found to be important for the integrity of muscle cells. Most recently, they have been found in the nervous system, where their functions appear to be more complex, including cross-linking of microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments [Leung, C.L., Zheng, M., Prater, S.M., and Liem, R.K. (2001). The BPAG1 locus: Alternative splicing produces multiple isoforms with distinct cytoskeletal linker domains, including predominant isoforms in neurons and muscles. J Cell Biol 154, 691-697., Leung, C.L., Sun, D., Zheng, M., Knowles, D.R., and Liem, R.K. (1999). Microtubule actin cross-linking factor (MACF): a hybrid of dystonin and dystrophin that can interact with the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. J Cell Biol 147, 1275-1286.]. These plakins have also indicated their relationship to the spectrin superfamily of proteins and the plakins appear to be evolutionarily related to the spectrins, but have diverged to perform different specialized functions. In invertebrates, a single plakin is present in both Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, which resemble the more complex plakins found in mammals [Roper, K., Gregory, S.L., and Brown, N.H. (2002). The 'spectraplakins': cytoskeletal giants with characteristics of both spectrin and plakin families. J Cell Sci 115, 4215-4225.]. In contrast, there are seven plakins found in mammals and most of them have alternatively spliced forms leading to a very complex group of proteins with potential tissue specific functions [Jefferson, J.J., Leung, C.L., and Liem, R.K. (2004). Plakins: goliaths that link cell junctions and the cytoskeleton. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 5, 542-553.]. In this review, we will first describe the plakins, desmoplakin, plectin, envoplakin and periplakin and then describe two other mammalian plakins, Bullous pemphigoid antigen 1 (BPAG1) and microtubule actin cross-linking factor 1 (MACF1), that are expressed in multiple isoforms in different tissues. We will also describe the relationship of these two proteins to the invertebrate plakins, shortstop (shot) in Drosophila and VAB-10 in C. elegans. Finally, we will describe an unusual mammalian plakin, called epiplakin.

    Experimental cell research 2007;313;10;2189-203

  • The structure of a tandem pair of spectrin repeats of plectin reveals a modular organization of the plakin domain.

    Sonnenberg A, Rojas AM and de Pereda JM

    Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    Plectin is a large and versatile cytoskeletal linker and member of the plakin protein family. Plakins share a conserved region called the plakin domain located near their N terminus. We have determined the crystal structure of an N-terminal fragment of the plakin domain of plectin to 2.05 A resolution. This region is adjacent to the actin-binding domain and is required for efficient binding to the integrin alpha6beta4 in hemidesmosomes. The structure is formed by two spectrin repeats connected by an alpha-helix that spans these two repeats. While the first repeat is very similar to other known structures, the second repeat is structurally different with a hydrophobic core, narrower than that in canonical spectrin repeats. Sequence analysis of the plakin domain revealed the presence of up to nine consecutive spectrin repeats organized in an array of tandem modules, and a Src-homology 3 domain inserted in the central spectrin repeat. The structure of the plakin domain is reminiscent of the modular organization of members of the spectrin family. The architecture of the plakin domain suggests that it forms an elongated and flexible structure, and provides a novel molecular explanation for the contribution of plectin and other plakins to the elasticity and stability of tissues subjected to mechanical stress, such as the skin and striated muscle.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: G0500367

    Journal of molecular biology 2007;368;5;1379-91

  • Plectin 1f scaffolding at the sarcolemma of dystrophic (mdx) muscle fibers through multiple interactions with beta-dystroglycan.

    Rezniczek GA, Konieczny P, Nikolic B, Reipert S, Schneller D, Abrahamsberg C, Davies KE, Winder SJ and Wiche G

    Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, University of Vienna, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.

    In skeletal muscle, the cytolinker plectin is prominently expressed at Z-disks and the sarcolemma. Alternative splicing of plectin transcripts gives rise to more than eight protein isoforms differing only in small N-terminal sequences (5-180 residues), four of which (plectins 1, 1b, 1d, and 1f) are found at substantial levels in muscle tissue. Using plectin isoform-specific antibodies and isoform expression constructs, we show the differential regulation of plectin isoforms during myotube differentiation and their localization to different compartments of muscle fibers, identifying plectins 1 and 1f as sarcolemma-associated isoforms, whereas plectin 1d localizes exclusively to Z-disks. Coimmunoprecipitation and in vitro binding assays using recombinant protein fragments revealed the direct binding of plectin to dystrophin (utrophin) and beta-dystroglycan, the key components of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex. We propose a model in which plectin acts as a universal mediator of desmin intermediate filament anchorage at the sarcolemma and Z-disks. It also explains the plectin phenotype observed in dystrophic skeletal muscle of mdx mice and Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients.

    Funded by: Austrian Science Fund FWF: P 17862; Medical Research Council: MC_U137761449; Wellcome Trust: 042180

    The Journal of cell biology 2007;176;7;965-77

  • Gene expression in temporal lobe epilepsy is consistent with increased release of glutamate by astrocytes.

    Lee TS, Mane S, Eid T, Zhao H, Lin A, Guan Z, Kim JH, Schweitzer J, King-Stevens D, Weber P, Spencer SS, Spencer DD and de Lanerolle NC

    Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8082, USA.

    Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) often have a shrunken hippocampus that is known to be the location in which seizures originate. The role of the sclerotic hippocampus in the causation and maintenance of seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) has remained incompletely understood despite extensive neuropathological investigations of this substrate. To gain new insights and develop new testable hypotheses on the role of sclerosis in the pathophysiology of TLE, the differential gene expression profile was studied. To this end, DNA microarray analysis was used to compare gene expression profiles in sclerotic and non-sclerotic hippocampi surgically removed from TLE patients. Sclerotic hippocampi had transcriptional signatures that were different from non-sclerotic hippocampi. The differentially expressed gene set in sclerotic hippocampi revealed changes in several molecular signaling pathways, which included the increased expression of genes associated with astrocyte structure (glial fibrillary acidic protein, ezrin-moesin-radixin, palladin), calcium regulation (S100 calcium binding protein beta, chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4) and blood-brain barrier function (Aquaaporin 4, Chemokine (C-C- motif) ligand 2, Chemokine (C-C- motif) ligand 3, Plectin 1, intermediate filament binding protein 55kDa) and inflammatory responses. Immunohistochemical localization studies show that there is altered distribution of the gene-associated proteins in astrocytes from sclerotic foci compared with non-sclerotic foci. It is hypothesized that the astrocytes in sclerotic tissue have activated molecular pathways that could lead to enhanced release of glutamate by these cells. Such glutamate release may e 170 xcite surrounding neurons and elicit seizure activity.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: R21 NS048434, R21 NS48434

    Molecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.) 2007;13;1-2;1-13

  • 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

  • Current insights into the formation and breakdown of hemidesmosomes.

    Litjens SH, de Pereda JM and Sonnenberg A

    Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    Hemidesmosomes are multiprotein adhesion complexes that promote epithelial stromal attachment in stratified and complex epithelia. Modulation of their function is of crucial importance in a variety of biological processes, such as differentiation and migration of keratinocytes during wound healing and carcinoma invasion, in which cells become detached from the substrate and acquire a motile phenotype. Although much is known about the signaling potential of the alpha6beta4 integrin in carcinoma cells, the events that coordinate the disassembly of hemidesmosomes during differentiation and wound healing remain unclear. The binding of alpha6beta4 to plectin has a central role in hemidesmosome assembly and it is becoming clear that disrupting this interaction is a crucial event in hemidesmosome disassembly. In addition, further insight into the functional interplay between alpha3beta1 and alpha6beta4 has contributed to our understanding of hemidesmosome disassembly and cell migration.

    Trends in cell biology 2006;16;7;376-83

  • Phosphoproteome analysis of the human mitotic spindle.

    Nousiainen M, Silljé HH, Sauer G, Nigg EA and Körner R

    Department of Cell Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany.

    During cell division, the mitotic spindle segregates the sister chromatids into two nascent cells, such that each daughter cell inherits one complete set of chromosomes. Errors in spindle formation can result in both chromosome missegregation and cytokinesis defects and hence lead to genomic instability. To ensure the correct function of the spindle, the activity and localization of spindle associated proteins has to be tightly regulated in time and space. Reversible phosphorylation has been shown to be one of the key regulatory mechanisms for the organization of the mitotic spindle. The relatively low number of identified in vivo phosphorylation sites of spindle components, however, has hampered functional analysis of regulatory spindle networks. A more complete inventory of the phosphorylation sites of spindle-associated proteins would therefore constitute an important advance. Here, we describe the mass spectrometry-based identification of in vivo phosphorylation sites from purified human mitotic spindles. In total, 736 phosphorylation sites were identified, of which 312 could be attributed to known spindle proteins. Among these are phosphorylation sites that were previously shown to be important for the regulation of spindle-associated proteins. Importantly, this data set also comprises 279 novel phosphorylation sites of known spindle proteins for future functional studies. This inventory of spindle phosphorylation sites should thus make an important contribution to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate the formation, function, and integrity of the mitotic spindle.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2006;103;14;5391-6

  • Plectin regulates the organization of glial fibrillary acidic protein in Alexander disease.

    Tian R, Gregor M, Wiche G and Goldman JE

    Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.

    Alexander disease (AxD) is a rare but fatal neurological disorder caused by mutations in the astrocyte-specific intermediate filament protein glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Histologically, AxD is characterized by cytoplasmic inclusion bodies called Rosenthal fibers (RFs), which contain GFAP, small heat shock proteins, and other undefined components. Here, we describe the expression of the cytoskeletal linker protein plectin in the AxD brain. RFs displayed positive immunostaining for plectin and GFAP, both of which were increased in the AxD brain. Co-localization, co-immunoprecipitation, and in vitro overlay analyses demonstrated direct interaction of plectin and GFAP. GFAP with the most common AxD mutation, R239C (RC GFAP), mainly formed abnormal aggregates in human primary astrocytes and murine plectin-deficient fibroblasts. Transient transfection of full-length plectin cDNA converted these aggregates to thin filaments, which exhibited diffuse cytoplasmic distribution. Compared to wild-type GFAP expression, RC GFAP expression lowered plectin levels in astrocytoma-derived stable transfectants and plectin-positive fibroblasts. A much higher proportion of total GFAP was found in the Triton X-insoluble fraction of plectin-deficient fibroblasts than in wild-type fibroblasts. Taken together, our results suggest that insufficient amounts of plectin, due to RC GFAP expression, promote GFAP aggregation and RF formation in AxD.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: NS42803, P01 NS042803

    The American journal of pathology 2006;168;3;888-97

  • Global phosphoproteome analysis on human HepG2 hepatocytes using reversed-phase diagonal LC.

    Gevaert K, Staes A, Van Damme J, De Groot S, Hugelier K, Demol H, Martens L, Goethals M and Vandekerckhove J

    Department of Medical Protein Research, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

    We present a phosphoproteomics approach using diagonal RP chromatography as the basic isolation principle. Phosphopeptides present in a tryptic digest of total cellular lysates were first enriched by Fe3+-immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography. Further sorting of the phosphopeptides took place in three steps. First, the resulting peptide mixture was fractionated over reversed-phase chromatography. Second, peptides present in each fraction were treated with phosphatases. Third, the dephosphorylated peptides were then more hydrophobic and shifted towards a later elution interval from the contaminating non-phosphopeptides eluting at the same position as during the primary run. Since the phosphopeptides are isolated as their dephosphorylated form, additional proof for their original phosphorylation state was obtained by split-differential 16O-18O labeling. The method was validated with alpha-casein phosphopeptides and consecutively applied on HepG2 cells. We identified 190 phosphorylated peptides from 152 different proteins. This dataset includes 38 novel protein phosphorylation sites.

    Proteomics 2005;5;14;3589-99

  • 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

  • Global phosphoproteome of HT-29 human colon adenocarcinoma cells.

    Kim JE, Tannenbaum SR and White FM

    Biological Engineering Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massassachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

    Phosphorylation events in cellular signaling cascades triggered by a variety of cellular stimuli modulate protein function, leading to diverse cellular outcomes including cell division, growth, death, and differentiation. Abnormal regulation of protein phosphorylation due to mutation or overexpression of signaling proteins often results in various disease states. We provide here a list of protein phosphorylation sites identified from HT-29 human colon adenocarcinoma cell line by immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) combined with liquid chromatography (LC)-tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analysis. In this study, proteins extracted from HT-29 whole cell lysates were digested with trypsin and carboxylate groups on the resulting peptides were converted to methyl esters. Derivatized phosphorylated peptides were enriched using Fe(3+)-chelated metal affinity resin. Phosphopeptides retained by IMAC were separated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and analyzed by electrospray ionization-quadrupole-time-of-flight (ESI-Q-TOF) mass spectrometry. We identified 238 phosphorylation sites, 213 of which could be conclusively localized to a single residue, from 116 proteins by searching MS/MS spectra against the human protein database using MASCOT. Peptide identification and phosphorylation site assignment were confirmed by manual inspection of the MS/MS spectra. Many of the phosphorylation sites identified in our results have not been described previously in the scientific literature. We attempted to ascribe functionality to the sites identified in this work by searching for potential kinase motifs with Scansite (http://scansite.mit.edu) and obtaining information on kinase substrate selectivity from Pattern Explorer (http://scansite.mit.edu/pe). The list of protein phosphorylation sites identified in the present experiment provides broad information on phosphorylated proteins under normal (asynchronous) cell culture conditions. Sites identified in this study may be utilized as surrogate bio-markers to assess the activity of selected kinases and signaling pathways from different cell states and exogenous stimuli.

    Funded by: NIEHS NIH HHS: P30 ES 002109, P30 ES002109; NIGMS NIH HHS: 1P50 GM 68762-01

    Journal of proteome research 2005;4;4;1339-46

  • Modeling and experimental validation of the binary complex of the plectin actin-binding domain and the first pair of fibronectin type III (FNIII) domains of the beta4 integrin.

    Litjens SH, Wilhelmsen K, de Pereda JM, Perrakis A and Sonnenberg A

    Divisions of Cell Biology, and Molecular Carcinogenesis, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    The binding of plectin to the beta4 subunit of the alpha6beta4 integrin is a critical step in the formation of hemidesmosomes. An important interaction between these two proteins occurs between the actin-binding domain (ABD) of plectin and the first pair of fibronectin type III (FNIII) domains and a small part of the connecting segment of beta4. Previously, a few amino acids, critical for this interaction, were identified in both plectin and beta4 and mapped on the crystal structures of the ABD of plectin and the first pair of FNIII domains of beta4. In the present study, we used this biochemical information and protein-protein docking calculations to construct a model of the binary complex between these two protein domains. The top scoring computational model predicts that the calponin-homology 1 (CH1) domain of the ABD associates with the first and the second FNIII domains of beta4. Our mutational analysis of the residues at the proposed interface of both the FNIII and the CH1 domains is in agreement with the suggested interaction model. Computational simulations to predict protein motions suggest that the exact model of FNIII and plectin CH1 interaction might well differ in detail from the suggested model due to the conformational plasticity of the FNIII domains, which might lead to a closely related but different mode of interaction with the plectin-ABD. Furthermore, we show that Ser-1325 in the connecting segment of beta4 appears to be essential for the recruitment of plectin into hemidesmosomes in vivo. This is consistent with the proposed model and previously published mutational data. In conclusion, our data support a model in which the CH1 domain of the plectin-ABD associates with the groove between the two FNIII domains of beta4.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2005;280;23;22270-7

  • Progress in epidermolysis bullosa: the phenotypic spectrum of plectin mutations.

    Pfendner E, Rouan F and Uitto J

    Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Jefferson Medical College, and DebRA Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

    Plectin, a large multidomain adhesive protein with versatile binding functions, is expressed in a number of tissues and cell types. In the skin, plectin is a critical component of hemidesmosomes, interacting with keratin intermediate filaments and beta4 integrin. Mutations in the plectin gene (PLEC1) result in fragility of skin, demonstrating blister formation at the level of hemidesmosomes. These blistering disorders belong to the spectrum of epidermolysis bullosa (EB) phenotypes, and three distinct variants because of plectin mutations have been identified. First, EB with muscular dystrophy, an autosomal recessive syndrome, is frequently caused by premature termination codon-causing mutations leading to the absence of plectin both in the skin and in the muscle. Second, a heterozygous missense mutation (R2110W) in PLEC1 has been documented in patients with EB simplex of the Ogna type, a rare autosomal dominant disorder. Finally, recent studies have disclosed plectin mutations in patients with EB with pyloric atresia, an autosomal recessive syndrome, frequently with lethal consequences. Collectively, these observations attest to the phenotypic spectrum of plectin mutations, and provide the basis for accurate genetic counselling with prognostic implications, as well as for prenatal diagnosis in families at the risk of recurrence of the disease.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: P01 AR38923

    Experimental dermatology 2005;14;4;241-9

  • Nucleolar proteome dynamics.

    Andersen JS, Lam YW, Leung AK, Ong SE, Lyon CE, Lamond AI and Mann M

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.

    The nucleolus is a key organelle that coordinates the synthesis and assembly of ribosomal subunits and forms in the nucleus around the repeated ribosomal gene clusters. Because the production of ribosomes is a major metabolic activity, the function of the nucleolus is tightly linked to cell growth and proliferation, and recent data suggest that the nucleolus also plays an important role in cell-cycle regulation, senescence and stress responses. Here, using mass-spectrometry-based organellar proteomics and stable isotope labelling, we perform a quantitative analysis of the proteome of human nucleoli. In vivo fluorescent imaging techniques are directly compared to endogenous protein changes measured by proteomics. We characterize the flux of 489 endogenous nucleolar proteins in response to three different metabolic inhibitors that each affect nucleolar morphology. Proteins that are stably associated, such as RNA polymerase I subunits and small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle complexes, exit from or accumulate in the nucleolus with similar kinetics, whereas protein components of the large and small ribosomal subunits leave the nucleolus with markedly different kinetics. The data establish a quantitative proteomic approach for the temporal characterization of protein flux through cellular organelles and demonstrate that the nucleolar proteome changes significantly over time in response to changes in cellular growth conditions.

    Funded by: Wellcome Trust: 073980

    Nature 2005;433;7021;77-83

  • Immunoaffinity profiling of tyrosine phosphorylation in cancer cells.

    Rush J, Moritz A, Lee KA, Guo A, Goss VL, Spek EJ, Zhang H, Zha XM, Polakiewicz RD and Comb MJ

    Cell Signaling Technology Inc., 166B Cummings Center, Beverly, Massachusetts 01915, USA.

    Tyrosine kinases play a prominent role in human cancer, yet the oncogenic signaling pathways driving cell proliferation and survival have been difficult to identify, in part because of the complexity of the pathways and in part because of low cellular levels of tyrosine phosphorylation. In general, global phosphoproteomic approaches reveal small numbers of peptides containing phosphotyrosine. We have developed a strategy that emphasizes the phosphotyrosine component of the phosphoproteome and identifies large numbers of tyrosine phosphorylation sites. Peptides containing phosphotyrosine are isolated directly from protease-digested cellular protein extracts with a phosphotyrosine-specific antibody and are identified by tandem mass spectrometry. Applying this approach to several cell systems, including cancer cell lines, shows it can be used to identify activated protein kinases and their phosphorylated substrates without prior knowledge of the signaling networks that are activated, a first step in profiling normal and oncogenic signaling networks.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 1R43CA101106

    Nature biotechnology 2005;23;1;94-101

  • Plectin gene mutations can cause epidermolysis bullosa with pyloric atresia.

    Pfendner E and Uitto J

    Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

    Epidermolysis bullosa with pyloric atresia (EB-PA), manifesting with neonatal blistering and gastric anomalies, is known to be caused by mutations in the hemidesmosomal genes ITGA6 and ITGB4, which encode the alpha6 and beta4 integrin polypeptides, respectively. As part of our molecular diagnostics program, we have now encountered four families with EB-PA in which no mutations could be identified in these two genes. Instead, PCR amplification followed by heteroduplex scanning and/or direct nucleotide sequencing revealed homozygous mutations in the plectin gene (PLEC1), encoding another hemidesmosomal protein previously linked to EB with muscular dystrophy. Our findings provide evidence for additional molecular heterogeneity in EB, and emphasize the importance of screening EB-PA patients not only for alpha6beta4 integrin but also for plectin deficiency.

    The Journal of investigative dermatology 2005;124;1;111-5

  • Plakin proteins are coordinately cleaved during apoptosis but preferentially through the action of different caspases.

    Aho S

    Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. sirpa.aho@jefferson.edu

    In epithelial cells, cell-cell and cell-matrix junctions, desmosomes and hemidesmosomes, provide anchorage sites for the keratin-intermediate filaments. The plakin proteins desmoplakin (DP), plectin, and periplakin represent intracellular constituents of these adhesion junctions. In staurosporine-treated apoptotic HaCaT cells, DP, plectin, and periplakin became cleaved coordinately with the elimination of keratins 10 and 14, while involucrin, actin, and keratin 18 displayed considerable stability. The caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk prevented both the cell detachment and protein cleavage, indicating the function of caspases in these events. Closer examination in vitro revealed that while caspases 2 and 4 most effic 13eb iently cleaved DP, and plectin served as a target for caspases 3 and 7, periplakin as well as keratins were cleaved by caspase 6. The involvement of multiple caspases in the destruction of epithelial cell integrity ensures the efficient elimination of cytoskeleton, but also provides specificity for selectively targeting individual adhesion molecules.

    Funded by: PHS HHS: R0133588

    Experimental dermatology 2004;13;11;700-7

  • Sequence comparison of human and mouse genes reveals a homologous block structure in the promoter regions.

    Suzuki Y, Yamashita R, Shirota M, Sakakibara Y, Chiba J, Mizushima-Sugano J, Nakai K and Sugano S

    Human Genome Center, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-8639, Japan. ysuzuki@ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    Comparative sequence analysis was carried out for the regions adjacent to experimentally validated transcriptional start sites (TSSs), using 3324 pairs of human and mouse genes. We aligned the upstream putative promoter sequences over the 1-kb proximal regions and found that the sequence conservation could not be further extended at, on average, 510 bp upstream positions of the TSSs. This discontinuous manner of the sequence conservation revealed a "block" structure in about one-third of the putative promoter regions. Consistently, we also observed that G+C content and CpG frequency were significantly different inside and outside the blocks. Within the blocks, the sequence identity was uniformly 65% regardless of their length. About 90% of the previously characterized transcription factor binding sites were located within those blocks. In 46% of the blocks, the 5' ends were bounded by interspersed repetitive elements, some of which may have nucleated the genomic rearrangements. The length of the blocks was shortest in the promoters of genes encoding transcription factors and of genes whose expression patterns are brain specific, which suggests that the evolutional diversifications in the transcriptional modulations should be the most marked in these populations of genes.

    Genome research 2004;14;9;1711-8

  • Large-scale characterization of HeLa cell nuclear phosphoproteins.

    Beausoleil SA, Jedrychowski M, Schwartz D, Elias JE, Villén J, Li J, Cohn MA, Cantley LC and Gygi SP

    Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Determining the site of a regulatory phosphorylation event is often essential for elucidating specific kinase-substrate relationships, providing a handle for understanding essential signaling pathways and ultimately allowing insights into numerous disease pathologies. Despite intense research efforts to elucidate mechanisms of protein phosphorylation regulation, efficient, large-scale identification and characterization of phosphorylation sites remains an unsolved problem. In this report we describe an application of existing technology for the isolation and identification of phosphorylation sites. By using a strategy based on strong cation exchange chromatography, phosphopeptides were enriched from the nuclear fraction of HeLa cell lysate. From 967 proteins, 2,002 phosphorylation sites were determined by tandem MS. This unprecedented large collection of sites permitted a detailed accounting of known and unknown kinase motifs and substrates.

    Funded by: NHGRI NIH HHS: HG00041, K22 HG000041, T32 HG000041; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM67945, GMS6203, R01 GM056203, R01 GM067945

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2004;101;33;12130-5

  • 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

  • Plectin-RACK1 (receptor for activated C kinase 1) scaffolding: a novel mechanism to regulate protein kinase C activity.

    Osmanagic-Myers S and Wiche G

    Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University of Vienna, Vienna Biocenter, Dr. Bohrgasse 9, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.

    Agonist-induced translocation of protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes is mediated by receptors for the activated form of the kinase, shuttling it from one intracellular site to another and enhancing its catalytic activity. It is however unknown whether the receptors themselves are anchored to certain intracellular structures prior to their engagement with PKC. We show here sequestering of receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) to the cytoskeleton through the cytoskeletal linker protein plectin during the initial stages of cell adhesion. We found that upon PKC activation, RACK1 was released from the cytoskeleton and transferred to the detergent-soluble cell compartment, where it formed an inducible triple complex with one of the PKC isozymes, PKCdelta, and with plectin. In plectin-deficient cells the cytoskeleton-associated RACK1 fraction was reduced, and the protein was found predominantly at sites to which it normally translocated upon PKC activation. Concomitantly, dislocation of PKCdelta and elevated enzymatic activity were observed in these cells. PKCdelta was also more rapidly degraded, likely due to its overactivation. We propose a previously unrecognized function of plectin as cytoskeletal regulator of PKC signaling, and possibly other signaling events, through sequestration of the scaffolding protein RACK1.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2004;279;18;18701-10

  • Role of binding of plectin to the integrin beta4 subunit in the assembly of hemidesmosomes.

    Koster J, van Wilpe S, Kuikman I, Litjens SH and Sonnenberg A

    The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Cell Biology, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    We have previously shown that plectin is recruited into hemidesmosomes through association of its actin-binding domain (ABD) with the first pair of fibronectin type III (FNIII) repeats and a small part of the connecting segment (residues 1328-1355) of the integrin beta4 subunit. Here, we show that two proline residues (P1330 and P1333) in this region of the connecting segment are critical for supporting beta4-mediated recruitment of plectin. Additional binding sites for the plakin domain of plectin on beta4 were identified in biochemical and yeast two-hybrid assays. These sites are located at the end of the connecting segment (residues 1383-1436) and in the region containing the fourth FNIII repeat and the C-tail (residues 1570-1752). However, in cells, these additional binding sites cannot induce the assembly of hemidesmosomes without the interaction of the plectin-ABD with beta4. Because the additional plectin binding sites overlap with sequences that mediate an intramolecular association of the beta4 cytoplasmic domain, we propose that they are not accessible for binding and need to become exposed as the result of the binding of the plectin-ABD to beta4. Furthermore, these additional binding sites might be necessary to position the beta4 cytoplasmic domain for an optimal interaction with other hemidesmosomal components, thereby increasing the efficiency of hemidesmosome assembly.

    Molecular biology of the cell 2004;15;3;1211-23

  • Multiple variable first exons: a mechanism for cell- and tissue-specific gene regulation.

    Zhang T, Haws P and Wu Q

    Department of Bioinformatics, Merck Research Labs, Rahway, New Jersey 07065, USA.

    A large family of neural protocadherin (Pcdh) proteins is encoded by three closely linked mammalian gene clusters (alpha, beta, and gamma). Pcdh alpha and gamma clusters have a striking genomic organization. Specifically, each "variable" exon is spliced to a common set of downstream "constant" exons within each cluster. Recent studies demonstrated that the cell-specific expression of each Pcdh gene is determined bya combination of variable-exon promoter activation and cis-splicing of the corresponding variable exon to the first constant exon. To determine whether there are other similarly organized gene clusters in mammalian genomes, we performed a genome-wide search and identified a large number of mammalian genes containing multiple variable first exons. Here we describe several clusters that contain about a dozen variable exons arrayed in tandem, including UDP glucuronosyltransferase (UGT1), plectin, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS1), and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) genes. In all these cases, multiple variable first exons are each spliced to a common set of downstream constant exons to generate diverse functional mRNAs. As an example, we analyzed the tissue-specific expression profile of the mouse UGT1 repertoire and found that multiple isoforms are expressed in a tissue-specific manner. Therefore, this variable and constant genomic organization provides a genetic mechanism for directing distinct cell- and tissue-specific patterns of gene expression.

    Genome research 2004;14;1;79-89

  • An early evaluation of malignant tendency with plectin expression in human colorectal adenoma and adenocarcinoma.

    Lee KY, Liu YH, Ho CC, Pei RJ, Yeh KT, Cheng CC and Lai YS

    Center for Research and Development, Chungtai Institute of Health Sciences and Technology, Taichung, Taiwan.

    Tumor cells are morphologically different from normal cells. In this situation, we proposed that plectin, one of the intermediate filament associated proteins, might play some special roles in the tumorigenesis. Plectin exhibits a wide distribution spectrum among various tissues; however, it is scarcely investigated in tumor tissues including colorectal adenocarcinoma. In this study, we searched the plectin expression in 25 cases of colorectal adenocarcinoma and 10 cases of tubular adenoma with focal adenocarcinoma by immunohistochemical method. The results reveal that plectin is up-regulated in colorectal adenocarcinoma as well as in bizarre glands and locally invasive tumor nests in tubular adenoma, compared with normal colorectal mucosa. Over-expression of plectin in locally invasive tumor nests might help us in diagnosis of distinguish microinvasive foci from normal glands. The bizarre glands in adenoma might be precancerous lesions since the expression of plectin in them was identical to that of adenocarcinoma but in contrast to that of normal glands. The overexpression of plectin might affect the organization of cytoskeleton, which might further cause tumorigenesis and morphological change of colorectal epithelial cells.

    Journal of medicine 2004;35;1-6;141-9

  • Plectin 5'-transcript diversity: short alternative sequences determine stability of gene products, initiation of translation and subcellular localization of isoforms.

    Rezniczek GA, Abrahamsberg C, Fuchs P, Spazierer D and Wiche G

    Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University of Vienna, Austria.

    Plectin is a large cytoskeletal linker protein expressed as several different isoforms from a highly complex gene. This transcript diversity is mainly caused by short 5'-sequences contained in alternative first exons. To elucidate the influence of these sequence differences and to determine potential differential functionality of the resulting protein forms, we conducted a systematic investigation of plectin isoforms on transcript and protein levels. Isoform expression was highly dependent on the different 5' ends, largely due to effects of the 5'-untranslated regions. Initiation of translation downstream of the expected start site led to loss of actin- and integrin beta4-binding in some isoforms. The small alternative N-terminal sequences (5-180 residues) profoundly affected the subcelluar localization of this >500 kDa protein. Specifically, plectin 1f was concentrated at focal adhesion contacts and plectin 1b was exclusively targeted to mitochondria, providing a connection of these organelles to intermediate filaments. Thus, with plectin as a model, we demonstrate a role for 5'-untranslated regions and alternative 5'-splicing as an important regulatory mechanism of protein expression and protein function.

    Human molecular genetics 2003;12;23;3181-94

  • Structural and functional analysis of the actin binding domain of plectin suggests alternative mechanisms for binding to F-actin and integrin beta4.

    García-Alvarez B, Bobkov A, Sonnenberg A and de Pereda JM

    Program on Cell Adhesion, The Burnham Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

    Plectin is a widely expressed cytoskeletal linker. Here we report the crystal structure of the actin binding domain of plectin and show that this region is sufficient for interaction with F-actin or the cytoplasmic region of integrin alpha6beta4. The structure is formed by two calponin homology domains arranged in a closed conformation. We show that binding to F-actin induces a conformational change in plectin that is inhibited by an engineered interdomain disulfide bridge. A two-step induced fit mechanism involving binding and subsequent domain rearrangement is proposed. In contrast, interaction with integrin alpha6beta4 occurs in a closed conformation. Competitive binding of plectin to F-actin and integrin alpha6beta4 may rely on the observed alternative binding mechanisms and involve both allosteric and steric factors.

    Structure (London, England : 1993) 2003;11;6;615-25

  • Interaction of the bullous pemphigoid antigen 1 (BP230) and desmoplakin with intermediate filaments is mediated by distinct sequences within their COOH terminus.

    Fontao L, Favre B, Riou S, Geerts D, Jaunin F, Saurat JH, Green KJ, Sonnenberg A and Borradori L

    Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland CH-1211.

    The bullous pemphigoid antigen 1 (BP230) and desmoplakin (DP) are members of the plakin protein family of cytolinkers. Despite their homology, their COOH termini selectively bind distinct intermediate filaments (IFs). We studied sequences within their COOH termini required for their interaction with the epidermal keratins K5/K14, the simple epithelial keratins K8/K18, and type III IF vimentin by yeast three-hybrid, cell transfection, and overlay assays. The results indicate that BP230 interacts with K5/K14 but not with K8/K18 or vimentin via a region encompassing both the B and C subdomains and the COOH extremity, including a COOH-terminal eight-amino-acid stretch. In contrast, the C subdomain with the COOH-terminal extremity of DP interacts with K5/K14 and K8/K18, and its linker region is able to associate with K8/K18 and vimentin. Furthermore, the potential of DP to interact with IF proteins in yeast seems to be regulated by phosphorylation of Ser 2849 within its COOH terminus. Strikingly, BP230 and DP interacted with cytokeratins only when both type I and type II keratins were present. The head and tail domains of K5/K14 keratins were dispensable for their interaction with BP230 or DP. On the basis of our findings, we postulate that (1) the binding specificity of plakins for various IF proteins depends on their linker region between the highly homologous B and C subdomains and their COOH extremity and (2) the association of DP and BP230 with both epidermal and simple keratins is critically affected by the tertiary structure induced by heterodimerization and involves recognition sites located primarily in the rod domain of these keratins.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: R01 AR043380

    Molecular biology of the cell 2003;14;5;1978-92

  • A proteomics strategy to elucidate functional protein-protein interactions applied to EGF signaling.

    Blagoev B, Kratchmarova I, Ong SE, Nielsen M, Foster LJ and Mann M

    Center for Experimental BioInformatics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.

    Mass spectrometry-based proteomics can reveal protein-protein interactions on a large scale, but it has been difficult to separate background binding from functionally important interactions and still preserve weak binders. To investigate the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathway, we employ stable isotopic amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) to differentially label proteins in EGF-stimulated versus unstimulated cells. Combined cell lysates were affinity-purified over the SH2 domain of the adapter protein Grb2 (GST-SH2 fusion protein) that specifically binds phosphorylated EGFR and Src homologous and collagen (Shc) protein. We identified 228 proteins, of which 28 were selectively enriched upon stimulation. EGFR and Shc, which interact directly with the bait, had large differential ratios. Many signaling molecules specifically formed complexes with the activated EGFR-Shc, as did plectin, epiplakin, cytokeratin networks, histone H3, the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored molecule CD59, and two novel proteins. SILAC combined with modification-based affinity purification is a useful approach to detect specific and functional protein-protein interactions.

    Nature biotechnology 2003;21;3;315-8

  • Plectin-isoform-specific rescue of hemidesmosomal defects in plectin (-/-) keratinocytes.

    Andrä K, Kornacker I, Jörgl A, Zörer M, Spazierer D, Fuchs P, Fischer I and Wiche G

    Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, Vienna Biocenter, University of Vienna, Austria.

    The various plectin isoforms are among the major crosslinking elements of the cytoskeleton. The importance of plectin in epithelia is convincingly supported by the severe skin blistering observed in plectin-deficient humans and mice. Here, we identified plectin 1a (> 500 kDa), a full length plectin variant containing the sequence encoded by the alternative first exon 1a, as the isoform most prominently expressed in human and mouse keratinocytes. In skin sections and cultured keratinocytes, plectin 1a was shown to colocalize with hemidesmosomal structures. In contrast, a second isoform expressed in epithelia, plectin 1c, differing from 1a merely by a short N-terminal sequence, colocalized with microtubules. Expression of plectin 1a, but not of its N-terminal fragment alone, or of a third alternative full length isoform (plectin 1), restored the reduced number of hemidesmosome-like stable anchoring contacts in cultured plectin-null keratinocytes. Our results show for the first time that different isoforms of a cytolinker protein expressed in one cell type perform distinct functions. Moreover, the identification of plectin 1a as the isoform defects in which cause skin blistering in plectin-related genetic diseases, such as epidermolysis bullosa simplex MD and epidermolysis bullosa simplex Ogna, could have implications for the future development of clinical therapies for patients.

    The Journal of investigative dermatology 2003;120;2;189-97

  • Analysis of the interactions between BP180, BP230, plectin and the integrin alpha6beta4 important for hemidesmosome assembly.

    Koster J, Geerts D, Favre B, Borradori L and Sonnenberg A

    The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Cell Biology, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    Hemidesmosomes (HDs) are multi-protein complexes that promote stable adhesion of epithelial cells to the underlying extracellular matrix. We assessed the interactions between different hemidesmosomal components with each other, mapped the binding sites and studied the importance of these interactions for HD assembly in yeast two-hybrid and cell-transfection assays. The results show that: (1) bullous pemphigoid antigen (BP) 180 binds not only to BP230, but also to plectin. The interactions between these proteins are facilitated by the Y subdomain in the N-terminal plakin domain of BP230 and plectin, and residues 145-230 of the cytoplasmic domain of BP180; (2) different, but overlapping, sequences on BP180 mediate binding to beta4, which, in turn associates with BP180 via its third fibronectin type III repeat; (3) sequences in the N-terminal extremity of BP230 mediate its binding to beta4, which requires the C-terminal end of the connecting segment up to the fourth FNIII repeat of the beta4 subunit. (4) Finally, cell-transfection studies showed that the localization of BP230 into hemidesmosome-like structures depends on its Z-Y subdomains as well as on the availability of BP180. By having further uncovered interactions between various hemidesmosomal components, mapped the involved binding sites and dissected a hierarchy of interactions relevant for their topogenic fate, our findings give novel insights into the molecular organization of hemidesmosomes.

    Journal of cell science 2003;116;Pt 2;387-99

  • Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the plectin actin-binding domain.

    Urbániková L, Janda L, Popov A, Wiche G and Sevcík J

    Institute of Molecular Biology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 21, 842 51 Bratislava, Slovak Republic. umbiurbi@savba.savba.sk

    Plectin is an abundantly expressed cytoskeletal crosslinking protein of enormous size (>500 kDa) and multiple functions. It represents one of the many members of a large family of actin-binding proteins. The actin-binding domain of mouse plectin was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. Crystals of the actin-binding domain of plectin were prepared by the hanging-drop method. They belong to space group P2(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 55.92, b = 108.92, c = 63.75 A, beta = 115.25 degrees. Data from a single crystal were collected to 2.0 A resolution at room temperature using synchrotron radiation at EMBL, Hamburg. The asymmetric unit contains two molecules of the protein, which corresponds to V(M) = 3.06 A(3) Da(-1) and a solvent content of 60%. The structure was solved by the molecular-replacement method. In addition, the preparation of selenomethionine-derivative crystals is described.

    Acta crystallographica. Section D, Biological crystallography 2002;58;Pt 8;1368-70

  • A site-specific plectin mutation causes dominant epidermolysis bullosa simplex Ogna: two identical de novo mutations.

    Koss-Harnes D, Høyheim B, Anton-Lamprecht I, Gjesti A, Jørgensen RS, Jahnsen FL, Olaisen B, Wiche G and Gedde-Dahl T

    Department of Dermatology, The National Hospital, University of Oslo, Norway. doeh@online.no

    Plectin is one of the largest and most versatile cytolinker proteins known. In basal keratinocytes it links the intermediate filament network to cell membrane-associated hemidesmosomes. Several mutations in its gene have been identified that lead to the recessive disease epidermolysis bullosa with muscular dystrophy. We report here a mutation that leads to a dominant form of the disease, epidermolysis bullosa simplex Ogna. We found that the epidermolysis bullosa simplex Ogna phenotype is due to a site-specific missense mutation within plectin's rod domain. Further, we show that epidermolysis bullosa simplex Ogna is not restricted to a single Norwegian kindred as previously believed. A German family with the phenotypic hallmarks of epidermolysis bullosa simplex Ogna was found to carry an identical de novo mutation. These two mutations arose about 200 y apart in time. Consistent with the absence of muscular symptoms in these patients, muscle biopsies from several epidermolysis bullosa simplex Ogna members of the Norwegian kindred showed normal staining patterns using antibodies to plectin. Skin changes in epidermolysis bullosa simplex Ogna patients are documented on the ultrastructural level.

    The Journal of investigative dermatology 2002;118;1;87-93

  • Plakins: a family of versatile cytolinker proteins.

    Leung CL, Green KJ and Liem RK

    Dept of Pathology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.

    By connecting cytoskeletal elements to each other and to junctional complexes, the plakin family of cytolinkers plays a crucial role in orchestrating cellular development and maintaining tissue integrity. Plakins are built from combinations of interacting domains that bind to microfilaments, microtubules, intermediate filaments, cell-adhesion molecules and members of the armadillo family. Plakins are involved in both inherited and autoimmune diseases that affect the skin, neuronal tissue, and cardiac and skeletal muscle. Here, we describe the members of the plakin family and their interaction partners, and give examples of the cellular defects that result from their dysfunction.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: AR41836, AR43380; NIDCR NIH HHS: P01 DE12328; NINDS NIH HHS: NS15182

    Trends in cell biology 2002;12;1;37-45

  • Cutting edge: integration of human T lymphocyte cytoskeleton by the cytolinker plectin.

    Brown MJ, Hallam JA, Liu Y, Yamada KM and Shaw S

    Experimental Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. BrownM@exchange.nih.gov

    Chemokine-induced polarization of lymphocytes involves the rapid collapse of vimentin intermediate filaments (IFs) into an aggregate within the uropod. Little is known about the interactions of lymphocyte vimentin with other cytoskeletal elements. We demonstrate that human peripheral blood T lymphocytes express plectin, an IF-binding, cytoskeletal cross-linking protein. Plectin associates with a complex of structural proteins including vimentin, actin, fodrin, moesin, and lamin B in resting peripheral blood T lymphocytes. During chemokine-induced polarization, plectin redistributes to the uropod associated with vimentin and fodrin; their spatial distribution indicates that this vimentin-plectin-fodrin complex provides a continuous linkage from the nucleus (lamin B) to the cortical cytoskeleton. Overexpression of the plectin IF-binding domain in the T cell line Jurkat induces the perinuclear aggregation of vimentin IFs. Plectin is therefore likely to serve as an important organizer of the lymphocyte cytoskeleton and may regulate changes of lymphocyte cytoarchitecture during polarization and extravasation.

    Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 2001;167;2;641-5

  • Epidermolysis bullosa with congenital pyloric atresia: novel mutations in the beta 4 integrin gene (ITGB4) and genotype/phenotype correlations.

    Nakano A, Pulkkinen L, Murrell D, Rico J, Lucky AW, Garzon M, Stevens CA, Robertson S, Pfendner E and Uitto J

    Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Jefferson Medical College, Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.

    Epidermolysis bullosa with pyloric atresia (EB-PA: OMIM 226730), also known as Carmi syndrome, is a rare autosomal recessive genodermatosis that manifests with neonatal mucocutaneous fragility associated with congenital pyloric atresia. The disease is frequently lethal within the first year, but nonlethal cases have been reported. Mutations in the genes encoding subunit polypeptides of the alpha 6 beta 4 integrin (ITGA6 and ITGB4) have been demonstrated in EB-PA patients. To extend the repertoire of mutations and to identify genotype-phenotype correlations, we examined seven new EB-PA families, four with lethal and three with nonlethal disease variants. DNA from patients was screened for mutations using heteroduplex analysis followed by nucleotide sequencing of PCR products spanning all beta 4 integrin-coding sequences. Mutation analysis disclosed 12 distinct mutations, 11 of them novel. Four mutations predicted a premature termination codon as a result of nonsense mutations or small out-of-frame insertions or deletions, whereas seven were missense mutations. This brings the total number of distinct ITGB4 mutations to 33. The mutation database indicates that premature termination codons are associated predominantly with the lethal EB-PA variants, whereas missense mutations are more prevalent in nonlethal forms. However, the consequences of the missense mutations are position dependent, and substitutions of highly conserved amino acids may have lethal consequences. In general, indirect immunofluorescence studies of affected skin revealed negative staining for beta 4 integrin in lethal cases and positive, but attenuated, staining in nonlethal cases and correlated with clinical phenotype. The data on specific mutations in EB-PA patients allows prenatal testing and preimplantation genetic diagnosis in families at risk.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: P01 AR 38923

    Pediatric research 2001;49;5;618-26

  • Fully functional, naturally occurring and C-terminally truncated variant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Vif does not bind to HIV Gag but influences intermediate filament structure.

    Henzler T, Harmache A, Herrmann H, Spring H, Suzan M, Audoly G, Panek T and Bosch V

    Forschungsschwerpunkt Angewandte Tumorvirologie, F0200, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Im Neuenheimer Feld 242, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

    A variant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vif gene, vifA45-2, which encodes a protein lacking 19 amino acids at the C terminus but which is fully functional in supporting HIV replication in non-permissive cells has been described previously. By employing newly generated anti-VifA45 serum, further properties of VifA45 and its full-length counterpart, VifA45open, in comparison to Vif from HIV strain BH10 are reported in permissive HeLa and COS-7 cells. The results obtained using confocal microscopic localization studies and in vitro binding assays do not support a requirement for the direct interaction of HIV Gag with Vif. Furthermore and in contrast to previous conclusions, detergent solubility analyses do not demonstrate a role for the C terminus of Vif in mediating localization to the fraction containing cellular membrane proteins. Localization of Vif from HIV strain BH10 to perinuclear aggregates in a small fraction (about 10%) of transfected HeLa cells has been previously reported. The intermediate filament protein vimentin colocalizes to these structures. In contrast, VifA45 and VifA45open form perinuclear aggregates in nearly all transfected HeLa cells; vimentin as well as the cytoskeletal-bridging protein plectin, but not the microtubular protein tubulin, become relocalized to these structures. Interestingly, in COS-7 cells, all of the functional Vif proteins tested (Vif from strain BH10, VifA45 and VifA45open) predominantly localize in the cytoplasm but still induce dramatic aggregation of vimentin and plectin, i.e. in these cells the respective Vif proteins are influencing intermediate filament structure in the absence of colocalization.

    The Journal of general virology 2001;82;Pt 3;561-73

  • A compound heterozygous one amino-acid insertion/nonsense mutation in the plectin gene causes epidermolysis bullosa simplex with plectin deficiency.

    Bauer JW, Rouan F, Kofler B, Rezniczek GA, Kornacker I, Muss W, Hametner R, Klausegger A, Huber A, Pohla-Gubo G, Wiche G, Uitto J and Hintner H

    Department of Dermatology, Children's Hospital Salzburg, Austria. jo.bauer@lks.at

    Plectin is a cytoskeleton linker protein expressed in a variety of tissues including skin, muscle, and nerves. Mutations in its gene are associated with epidermolysis bullosa simplex with late-onset muscular dystrophy. Whereas in most of these patients the pathogenic events are mediated by nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, the consequences of an in-frame mutation are less clear. We analyzed a patient with compound heterozygosity for a 3-bp insertion at position 1287 leading to the insertion of leucine as well as the missense mutation Q1518X leading to a stop codon. The presence of plectin mRNA was demonstrated by a RNase protection assay. However, a marked reduction of plectin protein was found using immunofluorescence microscopy of the patient's skin and Western blot analysis of the patient's cultured keratinocytes. The loss of plectin protein was associated with morphological alterations in plectin-containing structures of the dermo-epidermal junction, in skeletal muscle, and in nerves as detected by electron microscopy. In an in vitro overlay assay using recombinant plectin peptides spanning exons 2 to 15 the insertion of leucine resulted in markedly increased self-aggregation of plectin peptides. These results describe for the first time the functional consequences of an in-frame insertion mutation in humans.

    The American journal of pathology 2001;158;2;617-25

  • Identification of the cytolinker plectin as a major early in vivo substrate for caspase 8 during CD95- and tumor necrosis factor receptor-mediated apoptosis.

    Stegh AH, Herrmann H, Lampel S, Weisenberger D, Andrä K, Seper M, Wiche G, Krammer PH and Peter ME

    Tumor Immunology Program, German Cancer Research Center, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

    Caspase 8 plays an essential role in the execution of death receptor-mediated apoptosis. To determine the localization of endogenous caspase 8, we used a panel of subunit-specific anti-caspase 8 monoclonal antibodies in confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. In the human breast carcinoma cell line MCF7, caspase 8 predominantly colocalized with and bound to mitochondria. After induction of apoptosis through CD95 or tumor necrosis factor receptor I, active caspase 8 translocated to plectin, a major cross-linking protein of the three main cytoplasmic filament systems, whereas the caspase 8 prodomain remained bound to mitochondria. Plectin was quantitatively cleaved by caspase 8 at Asp 2395 in the center of the molecule in all cells tested. Cleavage of plectin clearly preceded that of other caspase substrates such as poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, gelsolin, cytokeratins, or lamin B. In primary fibroblasts from plectin-deficient mice, apoptosis-induced reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, as seen in wild-type cells, was severely impaired, suggesting that during apoptosis, plectin is required for the reorganization of the microfilament system.

    Molecular and cellular biology 2000;20;15;5665-79

  • The tetraspan molecule CD151, a novel constituent of hemidesmosomes, associates with the integrin alpha6beta4 and may regulate the spatial organization of hemidesmosomes.

    Sterk LM, Geuijen CA, Oomen LC, Calafat J, Janssen H and Sonnenberg A

    Division of Cell Biology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    CD151 is a cell surface protein that belongs to the tetraspan superfamily. It associates with other tetraspan molecules and certain integrins to form large complexes at the cell surface. CD151 is expressed by a variety of epithelia and mesenchymal cells. We demonstrate here that in human skin CD151 is codistributed with alpha3beta1 and alpha6beta4 at the basolateral surface of basal keratinocytes. Immunoelectron microscopy showed that CD151 is concentrated in hemidesmosomes. By immunoprecipitation from transfected K562 cells, we established that CD151 associates with alpha3beta1 and alpha6beta4. In beta4-deficient pyloric atresia associated with junctional epidermolysis bullosa (PA-JEB) keratinocytes, CD151 and alpha3beta1 are clustered together at the basal cell surface in association with patches of laminin-5. Focal adhesions are present at the periphery of these clusters, connected with actin filaments, and they contain both CD151 and alpha3beta1. Transient transfection studies of PA-JEB cells with beta4 revealed that the integrin alpha6beta4 becomes incorporated into the alpha3beta1-CD151 clusters where it induces the formation of hemidesmosomes. As a result, the amount of alpha3beta1 in the clusters diminishes and the protein becomes restricted to the peripheral focal adhesions. Furthermore, CD151 becomes predominantly associated with alpha6beta4 in hemidesmosomes, whereas its codistribution with alpha3beta1 in focal adhesions becomes partial. The localization of alpha6beta4 in the pre-hemidesmosomal clusters is accompanied by a strong upregulation of CD151, which is at least partly due to increased cell surface expression. Using beta4 chimeras containing the extracellular and transmembrane domain of the IL-2 receptor and the cytoplasmic domain of beta4, we found that for recruitment of CD151 into hemidesmosomes, the beta4 subunit must be associated with alpha6, confirming that integrins associate with tetraspans via their alpha subunits. CD151 is the only tetraspan identified in hemidesmosomal structures. Others, such as CD9 and CD81, remain diffusely distributed at the cell surface. In conclusion, we show that CD151 is a major component of (pre)-hemidesmosomal structures and that its recruitment into hemidesmosomes is regulated by the integrin alpha6beta4. We suggest that CD151 plays a role in the formation and stability of hemidesmosomes by providing a framework for the spatial organization of the different hemidesmosomal components.

    The Journal of cell biology 2000;149;4;969-82

  • Association of plectin with Z-discs is a prerequisite for the formation of the intermyofibrillar desmin cytoskeleton.

    Schröder R, Fürst DO, Klasen C, Reimann J, Herrmann H and van der Ven PF

    Department of Neurology, University Hospital Bonn, Germany.

    Plectin is a high-molecular mass protein (approximately 500 kd) that binds actin, intermediate filaments, and microtubules. Mutations of the plectin gene cause a generalized blistering skin disorder and muscular dystrophy. In adult muscle, plectin is colocalized with desmin at structures forming the intermyofibrillar scaffold and beneath the plasma membrane. To study the involvement of plectin in myofibrillogenesis, we analyzed the spatial and temporal expression patterns of plectin in cultured differentiating human skeletal muscle cells and its relationship to desmin intermediate filaments during this process. Northern and Western blot analyses demonstrated that at least two different plectin isoforms are expressed at all developmental stages from proliferating myoblasts to mature myotubes. Using immunocytochemistry, we show that the localization of plectin dramatically changes from a network-like distribution into a cross-striated distribution during maturation of myocytes. Double immunofluorescence experiments revealed that desmin and plectin are colocalized in premyofibrillar stages and in mature myotubes. Interestingly, plectin was often found to localize to the periphery of Z-discs during the actual alignment of neighboring myofibrils, and an obvious cross-striated plectin staining pattern was observed before desmin was localized in the Z-disc region. We conclude that the association of plectin with Z-discs is an early event in the lateral alignment of myofibrils that precedes the formation of the intermyofibrillar desmin cytoskeleton.

    Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology 2000;80;4;455-64

  • The N terminus of the transmembrane protein BP180 interacts with the N-terminal domain of BP230, thereby mediating keratin cytoskeleton anchorage to the cell surface at the site of the hemidesmosome.

    Hopkinson SB and Jones JC

    Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.

    In epidermal cells, the keratin cytoskeleton interacts with the elements in the basement membrane via a multimolecular junction called the hemidesmosome. A major component of the hemidesmosome plaque is the 230-kDa bullous pemphigoid autoantigen (BP230/BPAG1), which connects directly to the keratin-containing intermediate filaments of the cytoskeleton via its C terminus. A second bullous pemphigoid antigen of 180 kDa (BP180/BPAG2) is a type II transmembrane component of the hemidesmosome. Using yeast two-hybrid technology and recombinant proteins, we show that an N-terminal fragment of BP230 can bind directly to an N-terminal fragment of BP180. We have also explored the consequences of expression of the BP230 N terminus in 804G cells that assemble hemidesmosomes in vitro. Unexpectedly, this fragment disrupts the distribution of BP180 in transfected cells but has no apparent impact on the organization of endogenous BP230 and alpha6beta4 integrin. We propose that the BP230 N terminus competes with endogenous BP230 protein for BP180 binding and inhibits incorporation of BP180 into the cell surface at the site of the hemidesmosome. These data provide new insight into those interactions of the molecules of the hemidesmosome that are necessary for its function in integrating epithelial and connective tissue types.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: R01 GM38470

    Molecular biology of the cell 2000;11;1;277-86

  • Unusual 5' transcript complexity of plectin isoforms: novel tissue-specific exons modulate actin binding activity.

    Fuchs P, Zörer M, Rezniczek GA, Spazierer D, Oehler S, Castañón MJ, Hauptmann R and Wiche G

    Vienna Biocenter, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University of Vienna, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.

    Plectin, the most versatile cytolinker identified to date, has essential functions in maintaining the mechanical integrity of skin, skeletal muscle and heart, as indicated by analyses of plectin-deficient mice and humans. Expression of plectin in a vast variety of tissues and cell types, combined with a large number of different binding partners identified at the molecular level, calls for complex mechanisms regulating gene transcription and expression of the protein. To investigate these mechanisms, we analyzed the transcript diversity and genomic organization of the murine plectin gene and found a remarkable complexity of its 5'-end structure. An unusually high number of 14 alternatively spliced exons, 11 of them directly splicing into plectin exon 2, were identified. Analysis of their tissue distribution revealed that expression of a few of them is restricted to tissues such as brain, or skeletal muscle and heart. In addition, we found two short exons tissue-specifically spliced into a highly conserved set of exons encoding the N-terminal actin binding domain (ABD), common to plectin and the superfamily of spectrin/dystrophin-type actin binding proteins. Using recombinant proteins we show that a novel ABD version contained in the muscle-specific isoform of plectin exhibits significantly higher actin binding activity than other splice forms. This fine tuning mechanism based on alternative splicing is likely to optimize the proposed biological role of plectin as a cytolinker opposing intense mechanical forces in tissues like striated muscle.

    Human molecular genetics 1999;8;13;2461-72

  • Binding of integrin alpha6beta4 to plectin prevents plectin association with F-actin but does not interfere with intermediate filament binding.

    Geerts D, Fontao L, Nievers MG, Schaapveld RQ, Purkis PE, Wheeler GN, Lane EB, Leigh IM and Sonnenberg A

    Division of Cell Biology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    Hemidesmosomes are stable adhesion complexes in basal epithelial cells that provide a link between the intermediate filament network and the extracellular matrix. We have investigated the recruitment of plectin into hemidesmosomes by the alpha6beta4 integrin and have shown that the cytoplasmic domain of the beta4 subunit associates with an NH(2)-terminal fragment of plectin that contains the actin-binding domain (ABD). When expressed in immortalized plectin-deficient keratinocytes from human patients with epidermol- ysis bullosa (EB) simplex with muscular dystrophy (MD-EBS), this fragment is colocalized with alpha6beta4 in basal hemidesmosome-like clusters or associated with F-actin in stress fibers or focal contacts. We used a yeast two-hybrid binding assay in combination with an in vitro dot blot overlay assay to demonstrate that beta4 interacts directly with plectin, and identified a major plectin-binding site on the second fibronectin type III repeat of the beta4 cytoplasmic domain. Mapping of the beta4 and actin-binding sites on plectin showed that the binding sites overlap and are both located in the plectin ABD. Using an in vitro competition assay, we could show that beta4 can compete out the plectin ABD fragment from its association with F-actin. The ability of beta4 to prevent binding of F-actin to plectin explains why F-actin has never been found in association with hemidesmosomes, and provides a molecular mechanism for a switch in plectin localization from actin filaments to basal intermediate filament-anchoring hemidesmosomes when beta4 is expressed. Finally, by mapping of the COOH-terminally located binding site for several different intermediate filament proteins on plectin using yeast two-hybrid assays and cell transfection experiments with MD-EBS keratinocytes, we confirm that plectin interacts with different cytoskeletal networks.

    Funded by: Wellcome Trust

    The Journal of cell biology 1999;147;2;417-34

  • Myopathy, myasthenic syndrome, and epidermolysis bullosa simplex due to plectin deficiency.

    Banwell BL, Russel J, Fukudome T, Shen XM, Stilling G and Engel AG

    Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.

    Plectin, an intermediate filament linking protein, is normally associated with the sarcolemma, nuclear membrane, and intermyofibrillar network in muscle, and with hemisdesmosomes in skin. A 20-year-old female with epidermolysis bullosa simplex since birth had progressive ocular, facial, limb, and trunkal weakness and fatigability since age 9, fivefold CK elevation, a 25% decrement with myopathic motor unit potentials and increased electrical irritability on electromyography, and no anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies. Plectin expression was absent in muscle and severe plectin deficiency was noted in skin. Morphologic studies revealed necrotic and regenerating fibers and a wide spectrum of ultrastructural abnormalities: large accumulations of heterochromatic and lobulated nuclei, rare apoptotic nuclei, numerous cytoplasmic and few intranuclear nemaline rods, disarrayed myofibrils, thick-filament loss, vacuolar change, and pathologic alterations in membranous organelles. Many endplates (EPs) had an abnormal configuration with chains of small regions over the fiber surface and a few displayed focal degeneration of the junctional folds. The EP AChR content was normal. In vitro electrophysiologic studies showed normal quantal release by nerve impulse, small miniature EP potentials, and fetal as well as adult AChR channels at the EP. Our findings support the notion that plectin is essential for the structural integrity of muscle and skin, and for normal neuromuscular transmission.

    Funded by: NINDS NIH HHS: NS6277

    Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology 1999;58;8;832-46

  • Not just scaffolding: plectin regulates actin dynamics in cultured cells.

    Andrä K, Nikolic B, Stöcher M, Drenckhahn D and Wiche G

    Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, Vienna Biocenter, 1030 Vienna, Austria.

    Plectin, a major linker and scaffolding protein of the cytoskeleton, has been shown to be essential for the mechanical integrity of skin, skeletal muscle, and heart. Studying fibroblast and astroglial cell cultures derived from plectin (-/-) mice, we found that their actin cytoskeleton, including focal adhesion contacts, was developed more extensively than in wild-type cells. Also it failed to show characteristic short-term rearrangments in response to extracellular stimuli activating the Rho/Rac/Cdc42 signaling cascades. As a consequence, cell motility, adherence, and shear stress resistance were altered, and morphogenic processes were delayed. Furthermore, we show that plectin interacts with G-actin in vitro in a phosphatidylinositol-4,5-biphosphate-dependent manner and associates with actin stress fibers in living cells. The actin stress fiber phenotype of plectin-deficient fibroblasts could be reversed to a large degree by transient transfection of full-length plectin or plectin fragments containing the amino-terminal actin-binding domain (ABD). These results reveal a novel role of plectin as regulator of cellular processes involving actin filament dynamics that goes beyond its proposed role in scaffolding and mechanical stabilization of cells.

    Genes & development 1998;12;21;3442-51

  • Role of plectin in cytoskeleton organization and dynamics.

    Wiche G

    Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, Vienna Biocenter, Austria. wiche@abc.univie.ac.at

    Plectin and its isoforms are versatile cytoskeletal linker proteins of very large size (>500 kDa) that are abundantly expressed in a wide variety of mammalian tissues and cell types. Earlier studies indicated that plectin molecules were associated with and/or directly bound to subcomponents of all three major cytoskeletal filament networks, the subplasma membrane protein skeleton, and a variety of plasma membrane-cytoskeleton junctional complexes, including those found in epithelia, various types of muscle, and fibroblasts. In conjunction with biochemical data, this led to the concept that plectin plays an important role in cytoskeleton network organization, with consequences for viscoelastic properties of the cytoplasm and the mechanical integrity and resistance of cells and tissues. Several recent findings lent strong support to this concept. One was that a hereditary disease, epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS)-MD, characterized by severe skin blistering combined with muscular dystrophy, is caused by defects in the plectin gene. Another was the generation of plectin-deficient mice by targeted inactivation of the gene. Dying shortly after birth, these animals exhibited severe defects in skin, skeletal muscle and heart. Moreover, in vitro studies with cells derived from such animals unmasked an essential new role of plectin as regulator of cellular processes involving actin stress fibers dynamics. Comprehensive analyses of the gene locus in man, mouse, and rat point towards a complex gene expression machinery, comprising an unprecedented diversity of differentially spliced transcripts with distinct 5' starting exons, probably regulated by different promoters. This could provide a basis for cell type-dependent and/or developmentally-controlled expression of plectin isoforms, exerting different functions through binding to distinct partners. Based on its versatile functions and structural diversification plectin emerges as a prototype cytolinker protein among a family of proteins sharing partial structural homology and functions.

    Journal of cell science 1998;111 ( Pt 17);2477-86

  • Plectin transcript diversity: identification and tissue distribution of variants with distinct first coding exons and rodless isoforms.

    Elliott CE, Becker B, Oehler S, Castañón MJ, Hauptmann R and Wiche G

    Vienna Biocenter, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University of Vienna, Austria.

    Plectin is a widely expressed protein that is very large in size and that has all the attributes of a multifunctional crosslinking and organizing element of the cytoskeleton. It displays a multidomain structure, versatile binding activities, and subcellular localizations that enable it to strengthen cells against mechanical stress forces. Moreover, hereditary gene defects in plectin cause epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS)-MD, a severe skin blistering disease with muscular dystrophy. Here we report the analysis of the exonintron organization of the rat plectin gene and the identification of several different isoforms on the transcriptional level. We show that of 35 coding exons identified, 4 serve as alternative first exons splicing into the same successive exon 2, which is the first of 7 exons encoding a highly conserved actin-binding domain. RNase protection mapping of transcripts containing 3 of the identified 4 alternate first exons revealed their coexpression in rat glioma C6 cells and in a series of different rat tissues that we examined. Significant variations in expression levels of first exons indicated the possibility of tissue-specific promoter usage. In addition, plectin splice variants lacking exon 31 (> 3 kb), which encodes the entire rod domain of the molecule, were identified in a variety of rat tissues. This study provides first insights into a complex plectin gene regulatory machinery with similarities to that of dystrophin.

    Genomics 1997;42;1;115-25

  • A homozygous nonsense mutation in the PLEC1 gene in patients with epidermolysis bullosa simplex with muscular dystrophy.

    Chavanas S, Pulkkinen L, Gache Y, Smith FJ, McLean WH, Uitto J, Ortonne JP and Meneguzzi G

    U385 INSERM, Faculté de Médecine, Nice, France.

    Plectin is a widely expressed cytomatrix component involved in the attachment of the cytoskeleton to the plasma membrane. We have recently reported that the skin and muscles of three patients affected by epidermolysis bullosa simplex with muscular dystrophy (MD-EBS), a genetic disorder characterized by skin blistering associated with muscle involvement, are not reactive with antibodies specific to plectin. We demonstrated that in the skin, lack of plectin leads to failure of keratin filaments to connect to the plasma membrane via the hemidesmosomes, whereas in the muscle the deficient expression of the molecule correlates with an aberrant localization of desmin in the muscle fibers. In this study we demonstrate that in a MD-EBS kindred with two affected members, the disease results from a homozygous nonsense mutation in the plectin (PLEC1) gene leading to a premature stop codon (CGA to TGA) and decay of the aberrant plectin messenger RNA. The segregation of the mutated allele implicates the mutation in the pathology of the disorder. These results confirm the critical role of plectin in providing cell resistance to mechanical stresses both in the skin and the muscle.

    The Journal of clinical investigation 1996;98;10;2196-200

  • A pancreatic cancer-specific expression profile.

    Gress TM, Müller-Pillasch F, Geng M, Zimmerhackl F, Zehetner G, Friess H, Büchler M, Adler G and Lehrach H

    Department of Internal Medicine I, University of Ulm, Germany.

    We present an approach making use of technology established in the context of the genome project to describe a pancreatic cancer-specific expression profile and to identify new potential disease genes or disease-associated-genes. By use of gridded arrays of pancreatic cancer cDNA libraries and differential hybridizations we show that 4% the gridded cDNA library clones contain sequences preferentially expressed in pancreatic cancer. EST-sequencing of 369 distinct (408 total), differentially expressed sequences identified novel genes (32.5%) or homologs to EST-sequences with unknown function (26.3%). Homologies to known genes allow to determine a pancreatic cancer-specific expression profile, which provides for the first time evidence for complex primary and secondary alterations of gene expression responsible for the development of the phenotype of pancreatic cancer cells. In addition this has led to the identification of novel differentially expressed genes, which represent potential oncogenes or disease-associated markers and may be helpful for the development of therapeutic or diagnostic modalities.

    Oncogene 1996;13;8;1819-30

  • Homozygous deletion mutations in the plectin gene (PLEC1) in patients with epidermolysis bullosa simplex associated with late-onset muscular dystrophy.

    Pulkkinen L, Smith FJ, Shimizu H, Murata S, Yaoita H, Hachisuka H, Nishikawa T, McLean WH and Uitto J

    Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA 19107-5541, USA.

    In a distinct autosomal recessive variant of epidermolysis bullosa, EB-MD, life-long skin blistering is associated with late-onset muscular dystrophy of unknown etiology. Electron microscopy of these patients' skin suggests that tissue separation occurs intracellularly at the level of the hemidesmosomal inner plaque, which contains plectin, a high molecular weight cytoskeletal associated protein, also expressed in the sarcolemma of the muscle. In this study, we report two patients with EB-MD, each with a homozygous deletion mutation in the plectin gene, PLEC1. In the first case, the proband and her similarly affected sister had a homozygous 9 bp deletion mutation, designated as 2719de19, which resulted in elimination of three amino acids, QEA, in a sequence of 23 amino acids entirely conserved between the mouse and human sequences. The proband in the second family demonstrated a single nucleotide deletion at position 5866, designated as 5866delC, which resulted in frameshift and a premature termination codon for translation 16 bp downstream from the site of deletion. The absence of plectin in the hemidesmosomes, as reflected by negative immunofluorescence with an anti-plectin antibody (HD-1), associated with fragility of basal keratinocytes, implicates plectin as critical for binding of intermediate keratin filament network to hemidesmosomal complexes. The function of plectin as a putative attachment protein also in the muscle would explain the clinical phenotype consisting of cutaneous fragility and muscular dystrophy in EB-MD.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: P01AR38923; Wellcome Trust

    Human molecular genetics 1996;5;10;1539-46

  • Basic amino acid residue cluster within nuclear targeting sequence motif is essential for cytoplasmic plectin-vimentin network junctions.

    Nikolic B, Mac Nulty E, Mir B and Wiche G

    Vienna Biocenter, Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University of Vienna, Austria.

    We have generated a series of plectin deletion and mutagenized cDNA constructs to dissect the functional sequences that mediate plectin's interaction with intermediate filament (IF) networks, and scored their ability to coalign or disrupt intermediate filaments when ectopically expressed in rat kangaroo PtK2 cells. We show that a stretch of approximately 50 amino acid residues within plectin's carboxy-terminal repeat 5 domain serves as a unique binding site for both vimentin and cytokeratin IF networks of PtK2 cells. Part of the IF-binding domain was found to constitute a functional nuclear localization signal (NLS) motif, as demonstrated by nuclear import of cytoplasmic proteins linked to this sequence. Site directed mutagenesis revealed a specific cluster of four basic amino acid residues (arg4277-arg4280) residing within the NLS sequence motif to be essential for IF binding. When mutant proteins corresponding to those expressed in PtK2 cells were expressed in bacteria and purified proteins subjected to a sensitive quantitative overlay binding assay using Eu3+-labeled vimentin, the relative binding capacities of mutant proteins measured were fully consistent with the mutant's phenotypes observed in living cells. Using recombinant proteins we also show by negative staining and rotary shadowing electron microscopy that in vitro assembled vimentin intermediate filaments become packed into dense aggregates upon incubation with plectin repeat 5 domain, in contrast to repeat 4 domain or a mutated repeat 5 domain.

    The Journal of cell biology 1996;134;6;1455-67

  • Plectin deficiency results in muscular dystrophy with epidermolysis bullosa.

    Smith FJ, Eady RA, Leigh IM, McMillan JR, Rugg EL, Kelsell DP, Bryant SP, Spurr NK, Geddes JF, Kirtschig G, Milana G, de Bono AG, Owaribe K, Wiche G, Pulkkinen L, Uitto J, McLean WH and Lane EB

    Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Sciences Institute, University of Dundee, UK.

    We report that mutation in the gene for plectin, a cytoskeleton-membrane anchorage protein, is a cause of autosomal recessive muscular dystrophy associated with skin blistering (epidermolysis bullosa simplex). The evidence comes from absence of plectin by antibody staining in affected individuals from four families, supportive genetic analysis (localization of the human plectin gene to chromosome 8q24.13-qter and evidence for disease segregation with markers in this region) and finally the identification of a homozygous frameshift mutation detected in plectin cDNA. Absence of the large multifunctional cytoskeleton protein plectin can simultaneously account for structural failure in both muscle and skin.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: P01-AR38923; Wellcome Trust

    Nature genetics 1996;13;4;450-7

  • Loss of plectin causes epidermolysis bullosa with muscular dystrophy: cDNA cloning and genomic organization.

    McLean WH, Pulkkinen L, Smith FJ, Rugg EL, Lane EB, Bullrich F, Burgeson RE, Amano S, Hudson DL, Owaribe K, McGrath JA, McMillan JR, Eady RA, Leigh IM, Christiano AM and Uitto J

    Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Sciences Institute, University of Dundee, UK.

    Plectin is a widely expressed high molecular weight protein that is involved in cytoskeleton-membrane attachment in epithelial cells, muscle, and other tissues. The human autosomal recessive disorder epidermolysis bullosa with muscular dystrophy (MD-EBS) shows epidermal blister formation at the level of the hemidesmosome and is associated with a myopathy of unknown etiology. Here, plectin was found to be absent in skin and cultured keratinocytes from an MD-EBS patient by immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation, suggesting that plectin is a candidate gene/protein system for MD-EBS mutation. The 14800-bp human plectin cDNA was cloned and sequenced. The predicted 518-kD polypeptide has homology to the actin-binding domain of the dystrophin family at the amino terminus, a central rod domain, and homology to the intermediate filament-associated protein desmoplakin at the carboxyl terminus. The corresponding human gene (PLEC1), consisting of 33 exons spanning >26 kb of genomic DNA was cloned, sequenced, and mapped to chromosomal band 8q24. Homozygosity by descent was observed in the consanguineous MD-EBS family with intragenic plectin polymorphisms. Direct sequencing of PCR-amplified plectin cDNA from the patient's keratinocytes revealed a homozygous 8-bp deletion in exon 32 causing a frameshift and a premature termination codon 42 bp downstream. The clinically unaffected parents of the proband were found to be heterozygous carriers of the mutation. These results establish the molecular basis of MD-EBS in this family and clearly demonstrate the important structural role for plectin in cytoskeleton-membrane adherence in both skin and muscle.

    Funded by: Wellcome Trust

    Genes & development 1996;10;14;1724-35

  • Defective expression of plectin/HD1 in epidermolysis bullosa simplex with muscular dystrophy.

    Gache Y, Chavanas S, Lacour JP, Wiche G, Owaribe K, Meneguzzi G and Ortonne JP

    U385 Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Faculte de Medecine, Nice, France.

    Epidermolysis bullosa simplex with muscular dystrophy (MD-EBS) is a disease characterized by generalized blistering of the skin associated with muscular involvement. We report that the skin of three MD-EBS patients is not reactive with antibodies 6C6, 10F6, or 5B3 raised against the intermediate filament-associated protein plectin. Immunofluorescence and Western analysis of explanted MD-EBS keratinocytes confirmed a deficient expression of plectin, which, in involved skin, correlated with an impaired interaction of the keratin cytoskeleton with the hemidesmosomes. Consistent with lack of reactivity of MD-EBS skin to plectin antibodies, plectin was not detected in skeletal muscles of these patients. Impaired expression of plectin in muscle correlated with an altered labeling pattern of the muscle intermediate filament protein desmin. A deficient immunoreactivity was also observed with the monoclonal antibody HD121 raised against the hemidesmosomal protein HD1. Furthermore, immunofluorescence analysis showed that HD1 is expressed in Z-lines in normal skeletal muscle; whereas this expression is deficient in patient muscle. Colocalization of HD1 and plectin in normal skin and muscle, together with their impaired expression in MD-EBS tissues, strongly suggests that plectin and HD1 are closely related proteins. Our results therefore provide strong evidence that, in MD-EBS patients, the defective expression of plectin results in an aberrant anchorage of cytoskeletal structures in keratinocytes and muscular fibers leading to cell fragility.

    The Journal of clinical investigation 1996;97;10;2289-98

  • Human plectin: organization of the gene, sequence analysis, and chromosome localization (8q24).

    Liu CG, Maercker C, Castañon MJ, Hauptmann R and Wiche G

    Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University of Vienna-Biocenter, Austria.

    Plectin, a 500-kDa intermediate filament binding protein, has been proposed to provide mechanical strength to cells and tissues by acting as a cross-linking element of the cytoskeleton. To set the basis for future studies on gene regulation, tissue-specific expression, and pathological conditions involving this protein, we have cloned the human plectin gene, determined its coding sequence, and established its genomic organization. The coding sequence contains 32 exons that extend over 32 kb of the human genome. Most of the introns reside within a region encoding the globular N-terminal domain of the molecule, whereas the entire central rod domain and the entire C-terminal globular domain were found to be encoded by single exons of remarkable length, >3 kb and >6 kb, respectively. Overall, the organization of the human plectin gene was strikingly similar to that of human bullous pemphigoid antigen 1 (BPAG1), confirming that both proteins belong to the same gene family. Comparison of the deduced protein sequences for human and rat plectin revealed that they were 93% identical. By using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we have mapped the plectin gene to the long arm of chromosome 8 within the telomeric region. This gene locus (8q24) has previously been implicated in the human blistering skin disease epidermolysis bullosa simplex Ogna. Detailed knowledge of the structure of the plectin gene and its chromosome localization will aid in the elucidation of whether this or any other pathological conditions are linked to alterations in the plectin gene.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1996;93;9;4278-83

  • Identification of plectin as a substrate of p34cdc2 kinase and mapping of a single phosphorylation site.

    Malecz N, Foisner R, Stadler C and Wiche G

    Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University of Vienna, Biocenter, Dr. Bohrgasse 9, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.

    Plectin is an in vitro substrate for various kinases present in cell lysates from mitotic and interphase Chinese hamster ovary cells. Sensitivity of plectin kinase activity to the inhibitor olomoucine, and two-dimensional tryptic peptide mapping of plectin phosphorylated by various kinase preparations suggested that the major plectin kinase activity in mitotic extracts is related to the cell cycle regulator kinase p34cdc2. Bacterial expression of various truncated plectin mutant proteins comprising different domains of the molecule and their phosphorylation by purified p34cdc2kinase revealed that the target site of this kinase resided within plectin's C-terminal globular domain. Among the subdomains of the C-terminal region (six repeats and a short tail sequence), only repeat 6 and the tail were phosphorylated by p34cdc2 kinase. As shown by two-dimensional phosphopeptide mapping, repeat 6, but not the tail, contained a mitosis-specific phosphorylation site targeted by p34cdc2 kinase in intact plectin molecules. By performing site-directed mutagenesis of a potential p34cdc2 recognition sequence motif within the repeat 6 domain, threonine 4542 was identified as the major target for the kinase. Protein kinase A, phosphorylating plectin also within repeat 6, targeted sites that were clearly different from those of p34cdc2 kinase.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1996;271;14;8203-8

  • Protein kinase A- and protein kinase C-regulated interaction of plectin with lamin B and vimentin.

    Foisner R, Traub P and Wiche G

    Institute of Biochemistry, University of Vienna, Austria.

    Solid-phase binding assays with protein species purified from cultured rat glioma C6 cells and Ehrlich ascites revealed that plectin bound specifically to lamin B but not to lamins A and C. Lamin B interaction was significantly decreased upon in vitro phosphorylation of either lamin B or plectin with protein kinase A or C. In contrast, phosphorylation of plectin with kinase A increased its binding to vimentin, suggesting a different regulation of plectin interactions by this kinase. 32P-radiolabeling of rat glioma C6 cells revealed plectin as a major in vivo target of protein kinase A and protein kinase C. Plectin, present in lysates of dibutyryladenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate-treated cells, showed a 2.5 times higher binding affinity to vimentin than plectin from phorbol ester-treated cells. Furthermore, the relative amounts of plectin in 1% Triton X-100/high salt-insoluble cell fractions decreased to one-fourth of control values upon treating cells with phorbol esters, whereas vimentin was unaffected. This finding suggested a protein kinase C-dependent weakening of plectin interaction with intermediate filaments in vivo. Taken together, these results point to a role of plectin in interlinking cytoskeletal and nuclear elements and suggest that specific protein kinases are involved in regulating these interactions.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1991;88;9;3812-6

  • Plectin and IFAP-300K are homologous proteins binding to microtubule-associated proteins 1 and 2 and to the 240-kilodalton subunit of spectrin.

    Herrmann H and Wiche G

    Structural and functional characteristics of plectin from intermediate filament preparations of rat glioma C6 cells were compared to those of the intermediate filament-associated protein of Mr = 300,000 (IFAP-300K) of baby hamster kidney cells (Yang, H.-S., Lieska, N., Goldman, A.E., and Goldman, R.D. (1985) J. Cell Biol. 100, 620-631). After radiolabeling and proteolytic digestion under varied conditions, both proteins yielded nearly identical peptide maps. Immunological cross-reactivity, co-migration on one- and two-dimensional high-resolution gels, chromatofocusing, and amino acid analysis demonstrated structural homology as well. In vivo labeling with 32Pi showed that plectin was the target for cAMP-independent protein kinases which phosphorylated 18-kDa domains at the end(s) of the molecule. Previously reported phosphorylation sites for cAMP-dependent and a newly identified site for Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases were located on different domains. In solid-phase binding assays, plectin bound to vimentin, microtubule-associated proteins 1 and 2, the 240-kDa chain of brain fodrin, and alpha-spectrin from human erythrocytes. Similar characteristics were revealed for corresponding 300-kDa components of various other cell lines, supporting the concept that plectin is a general cytoskeletal cross-linking element, probably of multiple function.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1987;262;3;1320-5

Gene lists (6)

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
L00000059 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-HUMAN-PSD-CONSENSUS Human cortex PSD consensus 748
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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