Rudimentary hemidesmosome formation in congenital generalized junctional epidermolysis bullosa in the Sprague-Dawley rat.
Seven of 14 newborn pups in a litter of Sprague-Dawley rats were found to have generalized detachment of the epidermis, which was thin, wrinkled, and hung in loose folds over distal extremities. Histologic and ultrastructural examination of the skin showed noninflammatory separation of the epidermis from the dermis at the lamina lucida of the basement membrane zone. Ultrastructurally, hemidesmosomes were small and had a rudimentary appearance; keratin tonofilaments in basal keratinocytes were detached from the hemidesmosomes. The skin lesions were consistent with generalized junctional epidermolysis bullosa, which has not previously been reported in the rat. In humans, generalized junctional epidermolysis bullosa is most commonly caused by autosomal recessive inheritance of defective proteins of the hemidesmosomes or anchoring filaments. The specific protein defect involved in the rat lesion was not determined because fresh frozen tissue was not available. (+info)
The extracellular domain of BPAG2 has a loop structure in the carboxy terminal flexible tail in vivo.
The 180 kDa bullous pemphigoid antigen is a hemidesmosome-associated transmembranous protein with a molecule length estimated to be 190-230 nm, which is much longer than the transverse length of the lamina lucida and lamina densa. The purpose of this study was to clarify the precise in vivo structure of the 180 kDa bullous pemphigoid antigen in normal human skin. We used three monoclonal antibodies directed to (i) the intracellular globular head of the 180 kDa bullous pemphigoid antigen, (ii) the mid-portion of the flexible tail of the antigen, corresponding approximately to amino acids 1000-1320, and (iii) the carboxyl terminal end, corresponding approximately to amino acids 1320-1500 of the antigen. Using low temperature postembedding immunoelectron microscopy, we quantitated the distribution of immunogold labeling of these monoclonal antibodies in normal human skin. The results showed that the monoclonal antibodies (i) bound to the intracellular portion of the hemidesmosome at a mean distance of 20 nm from the plasma membrane, (ii) bound to the lamina densa beneath the hemidesmosome at a mean distance of 65 nm from the plasma membrane, and (iii) bound to the lamina densa-lamina lucida interface at a mean distance of 39 nm from the plasma membrane. Considering the reported size of the 180 kDa bullous pemphigoid antigen, our results indicate that the extracellular domain of the antigen has at least one loop structure in the lamina densa in vivo. This unique structure of the antigen is thought to contribute to dermo- epidermal adhesion by intertwining with other basement membrane components. (+info)
Epithelial development and differentiation in the mammary gland is not dependent on alpha 3 or alpha 6 integrin subunits.
In the mammary gland, both laminin and integrins have been shown to be required for normal ductal morphogenesis during development in vivo, and for functional differentiation in culture models. Major integrin receptors for laminins in the mammary gland are alpha 3 beta 1, alpha 6 beta 1, and alpha 6 beta 4. However, the specific subunits that contribute to laminin-mediated mammary cell function and development have not been identified. In this study, we use a genetic approach to test the hypothesis that laminin-binding integrins are required for the function of the mammary gland in vivo. Rudiments of embryonic mammary gland were shown to develop in the absence of these integrin subunits. Postnatal development of the mammary gland was studied in integrin null tissue that had been transplanted into the mammary fat pads of syngeneic hosts. In mammary epithelium lacking alpha 6 integrin, the beta 4 subunit was not apparent and hemidesmosome formation was only rudimentary. However, despite this deficiency, normal ductal morphogenesis and branching of the mammary gland occurred and myoepithelial cells were distributed normally with respect to luminal cells. Mammary alveoli devoid of alpha 3 or alpha 6 integrin formed in pregnancy and were histologically and functionally identical to those in wild-type mammary gland. The tissue underwent full morphological differentiation, and the epithelial cells retained the ability to synthesize beta-casein. This work demonstrates that mammary tissue genetically lacking major laminin-binding integrin receptors is still able to develop and function. (+info)
Activation of expression of hedgehog target genes in basal cell carcinomas.
Mutations in hedgehog signaling pathway genes, especially PTC1 and SMO, are pivotal to the development of basal cell carcinomas. The study of basal cell carcinoma gene expression not only may elucidate mechanisms by which hedgehog signaling abnormalities produce aberrant tumor cell behavior but also can provide data on in vivo hedgehog target gene control in humans. We have found, in comparison with normal skin, that basal cell carcinomas have increased levels of mRNA for PTC1, GLI1, HIP, WNT2B, and WNT5a; decreased levels of mRNA for c-MYC, c-FOS, and WNT4; and unchanged levels of mRNA for PTC2, GLI2, WNT7B, and BMP2 and 4. These findings suggest that mutations in hedgehog signaling pathway genes may exert both cell autonomous and indirect effects and indicate that basal cell carcinoma tumor cells have a phenotype that at least in some aspects resembles that of epidermal stem cells. (+info)
Protein kinase Cdelta-mediated phosphorylation of alpha6beta4 is associated with reduced integrin localization to the hemidesmosome and decreased keratinocyte attachment.
In mammalian epidermis, expression of the alpha6beta4 integrin is restricted to the hemidesmosome complexes, which connect the proliferative basal cell layer with the underlying basement membrane. Keratinocyte differentiation is associated with down-regulation of alpha6beta4 expression and detachment of keratinocytes from the basement membrane. Neoplastic keratinocytes delay maturation, proliferate suprabasally, and retain the expression of the alpha6beta4 integrin in suprabasal cells disassociated from the hemidesmosomes. We now show that the alpha6beta4 integrin is a substrate for serine phosphorylation by protein kinase C in keratinocytes. Furthermore, protein kinase C-mediated phosphorylation of alpha6beta4 is associated with redistribution of this integrin from the hemidesmosome to the cytosol. Specifically, in vitro kinase assays identified the protein kinase Cdelta as the primary isoform phosphorylating alpha6 and beta4 integrin subunits. Using recombinant protein kinase C adenoviruses, overexpression of protein kinase Cdelta but not protein kinase Calpha in primary keratinocytes increased beta4 serine phosphorylation, decreased alpha6beta4 localization to the hemidesmosome complexes, and reduced keratinocyte attachment. Taken together, these results establish a link between protein kinase Cdelta-mediated serine phosphorylation of alpha6beta4 integrin and its effects on alpha6beta4 subcellular localization and keratinocyte attachment to the laminin underlying matrix. (+info)
MUP-4 is a novel transmembrane protein with functions in epithelial cell adhesion in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Tissue functions and mechanical coupling of cells must be integrated throughout development. A striking example of this coupling is the interactions of body wall muscle and hypodermal cells in Caenorhabditis elegans. These tissues are intimately associated in development and their interactions generate structures that provide a continuous mechanical link to transmit muscle forces across the hypodermis to the cuticle. Previously, we established that mup-4 is essential in embryonic epithelial (hypodermal) morphogenesis and maintenance of muscle position. Here, we report that mup-4 encodes a novel transmembrane protein that is required for attachments between the apical epithelial surface and the cuticular matrix. Its extracellular domain includes epidermal growth factor-like repeats, a von Willebrand factor A domain, and two sea urchin enterokinase modules. Its intracellular domain is homologous to filaggrin, an intermediate filament (IF)-associated protein that regulates IF compaction and that has not previously been reported as part of a junctional complex. MUP-4 colocalizes with epithelial hemidesmosomes overlying body wall muscles, beginning at the time of embryonic cuticle maturation, as well as with other sites of mechanical coupling. These findings support that MUP-4 is a junctional protein that functions in IF tethering, cell-matrix adherence, and mechanical coupling of tissues. (+info)
mua-3, a gene required for mechanical tissue integrity in Caenorhabditis elegans, encodes a novel transmembrane protein of epithelial attachment complexes.
Normal locomotion of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans requires transmission of contractile force through a series of mechanical linkages from the myofibrillar lattice of the body wall muscles, across an intervening extracellular matrix and epithelium (the hypodermis) to the cuticle. Mutations in mua-3 cause a separation of the hypodermis from the cuticle, suggesting this gene is required for maintaining hypodermal-cuticle attachment as the animal grows in size postembryonically. mua-3 encodes a predicted 3,767 amino acid protein with a large extracellular domain, a single transmembrane helix, and a smaller cytoplasmic domain. The extracellular domain contains four distinct protein modules: 5 low density lipoprotein type A, 52 epidermal growth factor, 1 von Willebrand factor A, and 2 sea urchin-enterokinase-agrin modules. MUA-3 localizes to the hypodermal hemidesmosomes and to other sites of mechanically robust transepithelial attachments, including the rectum, vulva, mechanosensory neurons, and excretory duct/pore. In addition, it is shown that MUA-3 colocalizes with cytoplasmic intermediate filaments (IFs) at these sites. Thus, MUA-3 appears to be a protein that links the IF cytoskeleton of nematode epithelia to the cuticle at sites of mechanical stress. (+info)
Gene correction of integrin beta4-dependent pyloric atresia-junctional epidermolysis bullosa keratinocytes establishes a role for beta4 tyrosines 1422 and 1440 in hemidesmosome assembly.
The cytoplasmic domain of beta4 integrin contains two pairs of fibronectin-like repeats separated by a connecting segment. The connecting segment harbors a putative tyrosine activation motif in which tyrosines 1422 and 1440 are phosphorylated in response to alpha6beta4 binding to laminin-5. Primary beta4-null keratinocytes, obtained from a newborn suffering from lethal junctional epidermolysis bullosa, were stably transduced with retroviruses carrying a full-length beta4 cDNA or a beta4 cDNA with phenylalanine substitutions at Tyr-1422 and Tyr-1440. Hemidesmosome assembly was evaluated on organotypic skin cultures. beta4-corrected keratinocytes were indistinguishable from normal cells in terms of alpha6beta4 expression, the localization of hemidesmosome components, and hemidesmosome structure and density, suggesting full genetic and functional correction of beta4-null keratinocytes. In cultures generated from beta4(Y1422F/Y1440F) keratinocytes, beta4 mutants as well as alpha6 integrin, HD1/plectin, and BP180 were not concentrated at the dermal-epidermal junction. Furthermore, the number of hemidesmosomes was strikingly reduced as compared with beta4-corrected keratinocytes. The rare hemidesmosomes detected in beta4(Y1422F/Y1440F) cells were devoid of sub-basal dense plates and of inner cytoplasmic plaques with keratin filament insertion. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the beta4 tyrosine activation motif is not required for the localization of alpha6beta4 at the keratinocyte plasma membrane but is essential for optimal assembly of bona fide hemidesmosomes. (+info)