In vivo ultrastructural localization of the desmoglein 3 adhesive interface to the desmosome mid-line

Atsushi Shimizu, Akira Ishiko, Takayuki Ota, Hitoshi Saito, Hiroshi Oka, Kazuyuki Tsunoda, Masayuki Amagai, Takeji Nishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Desmoglein (Dsg) is a cadherin cell-cell adhesion molecule located in desmosomes and its precise mechanism for cell-cell adhesion still remains to be elucidated. Opposing cadherin molecules may adhere to the N-terminal EC1 domains, or the entire length of the extracellular (EC) domains may overlap. To solve this controversy, we performed immunoelectron microscopy to map the Dsg3 epitopes in desmosomes. Three different hybridoma cell lines producing anti-Dsg3 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) were intraperitoneally injected into immunodeficient mice and the precise ultrastructural location of bound IgG between the mucosal epithelial cells in vivo was statistically measured and analyzed. The binding site of the AK23 mAb that recognizes the N-terminal EC1 domain was localized to the electron-dense mid-line of desmosomes. The binding sites of AK7 and AK18, which recognize the C-terminal membrane proximal and middle portions of the EC domains, were localized to the desmosomal region proximal to the membrane and the region between the plasma membrane and the dense mid-line, respectively. These results indicate that the N-terminal regions of Dsg3 from opposing cells interact at the dense mid-line of desmosomes where EC1 overlaps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-989
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005 May


  • Adhesion molecule
  • Cadherin
  • Immunoelectron microscopy
  • Pemphigus vulgaris

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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