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Nat Struct Biol. 2002 Aug;9(8):612-20.

Structures of two intermediate filament-binding fragments of desmoplakin reveal a unique repeat motif structure.

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Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 299 Campus Drive West, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Desmosomes are intercellular junctions in which cadherin cell adhesion molecules are linked to the intermediate filament (IF) system. Desmoplakin is a member of the plakin family of IF-binding proteins. The C-terminal domain of desmoplakin (DPCT) mediates binding to IFs in desmosomes. The DPCT sequence contains three regions, termed A, B and C, consisting of 4.5 copies of a 38-amino acid repeat motif. We demonstrate that these regions form discrete subdomains that bind to IFs and report the crystal structures of domains B and C. In contrast to the elongated structures formed by other kinds of repeat motifs, the plakin repeats form a globular structure with a unique fold. A conserved basic groove found on the domain may represent an IF-binding site.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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