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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Dec;1(3):208-16.

Are desmosomes more than tethers for intermediate filaments?

Author information

  • 1Departments of Pathology and Dermatology and the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA. kgreen@nwu.edu


Desmosomes are intercellular adhesive junctions that anchor intermediate filaments at membrane-associated plaques in adjoining cells, thereby forming a three-dimensional supracellular scaffolding that provides tissues with mechanical strength. But desmosomes have also recently been recognized as sensors that respond to environmental and cellular cues by modulating their assembly state and, possibly, their signalling functions.

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