Desmosomes: A type of junction that attaches one cell to its neighbor. One of a number of differentiated regions which occur, for example, where the cytoplasmic membranes of adjacent epithelial cells are closely apposed. It consists of a circular region of each membrane together with associated intracellular microfilaments and an intercellular material which may include, for example, mucopolysaccharides. (From Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990; Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)Desmoplakins: Desmoplakins are cytoskeletal linker proteins that anchor INTERMEDIATE FILAMENTS to the PLASMA MEMBRANE at DESMOSOMES.Desmogleins: A group of desmosomal cadherins with cytoplasmic tails that resemble those of classical CADHERINS.Desmocollins: A group of desmosomal cadherins with cytoplasmic tails that are divergent from those of classical CADHERINS. Their intracytoplasmic domains bind PLAKOGLOBIN; PLAKOPHILINS; and DESMOPLAKINS.gamma Catenin: A multi-functional catenin that is highly homologous to BETA CATENIN. Gamma catenin binds CADHERINS and helps link their cytoplasmic tails to ACTIN in the CYTOSKELETON via ALPHA CATENIN. It is also found in DESMOSOMES where it mediates the link between DESMOSOMAL CADHERINS and DESMOPLAKIN.Plakophilins: Members of the armadillo family of proteins that are found in DESMOSOMES and interact with various proteins including desmocadherins; DESMOPLAKIN; ACTIN FILAMENTS; and KERATINS.Desmoglein 1: A desmosomal cadherin that is an autoantigen in the acquired skin disorder PEMPHIGUS FOLIACEUS.Desmoglein 3: A desmosomal cadherin that is an autoantigen in the acquired skin disorder PEMPHIGUS VULGARIS.Intercellular Junctions: Direct contact of a cell with a neighboring cell. Most such junctions are too small to be resolved by light microscopy, but they can be visualized by conventional or freeze-fracture electron microscopy, both of which show that the interacting CELL MEMBRANE and often the underlying CYTOPLASM and the intervening EXTRACELLULAR SPACE are highly specialized in these regions. (From Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2d ed, p792)Desmoglein 2: A CALCIUM-dependent adhesion molecule of DESMOSOMES that also plays a role in embryonic STEM CELL proliferation.Plakins: A family of related proteins that associate with cytoskeletal elements and junctional complexes at INTERCELLULAR JUNCTIONS. Plakins share a common plakin domain or a plakin repeat domain.Pemphigus: Group of chronic blistering diseases characterized histologically by ACANTHOLYSIS and blister formation within the EPIDERMIS.Intermediate Filaments: Cytoplasmic filaments intermediate in diameter (about 10 nanometers) between the microfilaments and the microtubules. They may be composed of any of a number of different proteins and form a ring around the cell nucleus.Cytoskeletal Proteins: Major constituent of the cytoskeleton found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. They form a flexible framework for the cell, provide attachment points for organelles and formed bodies, and make communication between parts of the cell possible.Desmosomal Cadherins: A single-pass transmembrane glycoproteins that mediate CALCIUM-dependent CELL ADHESION and are core components of DESMOSOMES.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Keratins: A class of fibrous proteins or scleroproteins that represents the principal constituent of EPIDERMIS; HAIR; NAILS; horny tissues, and the organic matrix of tooth ENAMEL. Two major conformational groups have been characterized, alpha-keratin, whose peptide backbone forms a coiled-coil alpha helical structure consisting of TYPE I KERATIN and a TYPE II KERATIN, and beta-keratin, whose backbone forms a zigzag or pleated sheet structure. alpha-Keratins have been classified into at least 20 subtypes. In addition multiple isoforms of subtypes have been found which may be due to GENE DUPLICATION.Epidermis: The external, nonvascular layer of the skin. It is made up, from within outward, of five layers of EPITHELIUM: (1) basal layer (stratum basale epidermidis); (2) spinous layer (stratum spinosum epidermidis); (3) granular layer (stratum granulosum epidermidis); (4) clear layer (stratum lucidum epidermidis); and (5) horny layer (stratum corneum epidermidis).Cadherins: Calcium-dependent cell adhesion proteins. They are important in the formation of ADHERENS JUNCTIONS between cells. Cadherins are classified by their distinct immunological and tissue specificities, either by letters (E- for epithelial, N- for neural, and P- for placental cadherins) or by numbers (cadherin-12 or N-cadherin 2 for brain-cadherin). Cadherins promote cell adhesion via a homophilic mechanism as in the construction of tissues and of the whole animal body.Acantholysis: Separation of the prickle cells of the stratum spinosum of the epidermis, resulting in atrophy of the prickle cell layer. It is seen in diseases such as pemphigus vulgaris (see PEMPHIGUS) and DARIER DISEASE.Epithelium: One or more layers of EPITHELIAL CELLS, supported by the basal lamina, which covers the inner or outer surfaces of the body.Cell Adhesion: Adherence of cells to surfaces or to other cells.Keratinocytes: Epidermal cells which synthesize keratin and undergo characteristic changes as they move upward from the basal layers of the epidermis to the cornified (horny) layer of the skin. Successive stages of differentiation of the keratinocytes forming the epidermal layers are basal cell, spinous or prickle cell, and the granular cell.Adherens Junctions: Anchoring points where the CYTOSKELETON of neighboring cells are connected to each other. They are composed of specialized areas of the plasma membrane where bundles of the ACTIN CYTOSKELETON attach to the membrane through the transmembrane linkers, CADHERINS, which in turn attach through their extracellular domains to cadherins in the neighboring cell membranes. In sheets of cells, they form into adhesion belts (zonula adherens) that go all the way around a cell.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.alpha Catenin: A catenin that binds F-ACTIN and links the CYTOSKELETON with BETA CATENIN and GAMMA CATENIN.Epithelial Cells: Cells that line the inner and outer surfaces of the body by forming cellular layers (EPITHELIUM) or masses. Epithelial cells lining the SKIN; the MOUTH; the NOSE; and the ANAL CANAL derive from ectoderm; those lining the RESPIRATORY SYSTEM and the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM derive from endoderm; others (CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM and LYMPHATIC SYSTEM) derive from mesoderm. Epithelial cells can be classified mainly by cell shape and function into squamous, glandular and transitional epithelial cells.Microscopy, Immunoelectron: Microscopy in which the samples are first stained immunocytochemically and then examined using an electron microscope. Immunoelectron microscopy is used extensively in diagnostic virology as part of very sensitive immunoassays.Armadillo Domain Proteins: A family of proteins that contain several 42-amino acid repeat domains and are homologous to the Drosophila armadillo protein. They bind to other proteins through their armadillo domains and play a variety of roles in the CELL including SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION, regulation of DESMOSOME assembly, and CELL ADHESION.Cytoskeleton: The network of filaments, tubules, and interconnecting filamentous bridges which give shape, structure, and organization to the cytoplasm.Tongue: A muscular organ in the mouth that is covered with pink tissue called mucosa, tiny bumps called papillae, and thousands of taste buds. The tongue is anchored to the mouth and is vital for chewing, swallowing, and for speech.Skin: The outer covering of the body that protects it from the environment. It is composed of the DERMIS and the EPIDERMIS.Dogs: The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, comprising about 400 breeds, of the carnivore family CANIDAE. They are worldwide in distribution and live in association with people. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1065)Plectin: A cytoskeletal linker protein with a molecular weight of greater than 500 kDa. It binds INTERMEDIATE FILAMENTS; MICROTUBULES; and ACTIN CYTOSKELETON and plays a central role in the organization and stability of the CYTOSKELETON. Plectin is phosphorylated by CALMODULIN KINASE; PROTEIN KINASE A; and PROTEIN KINASE C.Freeze Fracturing: Preparation for electron microscopy of minute replicas of exposed surfaces of the cell which have been ruptured in the frozen state. The specimen is frozen, then cleaved under high vacuum at the same temperature. The exposed surface is shadowed with carbon and platinum and coated with carbon to obtain a carbon replica.Tight Junctions: Cell-cell junctions that seal adjacent epithelial cells together, preventing the passage of most dissolved molecules from one side of the epithelial sheet to the other. (Alberts et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, p22)Vimentin: An intermediate filament protein found in most differentiating cells, in cells grown in tissue culture, and in certain fully differentiated cells. Its insolubility suggests that it serves a structural function in the cytoplasm. MW 52,000.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Keratoderma, Palmoplantar: Group of mostly hereditary disorders characterized by thickening of the palms and soles as a result of excessive keratin formation leading to hypertrophy of the stratum corneum (hyperkeratosis).Cell Adhesion Molecules: Surface ligands, usually glycoproteins, that mediate cell-to-cell adhesion. Their functions include the assembly and interconnection of various vertebrate systems, as well as maintenance of tissue integration, wound healing, morphogenic movements, cellular migrations, and metastasis.