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Mol Biol Cell. 2000 Jan;11(1):277-86.

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.

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  • 1Department 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.

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