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J Mol Biol. 2005 Feb 11;346(1):367-76. Epub 2004 Dec 19.

Structure of the armadillo repeat domain of plakophilin 1.

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  • 1Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 299 Campus Drive West, Stanford, CA 94305-5126, USA.


The p120ctn subfamily of armadillo domain proteins has roles in modulating intercellular adhesion by cadherin-containing junctions. We have determined the crystal structure of the arm repeat domain from plakophilin-1 (PKP1), a member of the p120ctn subfamily that is found in desmosomes. The structure reveals that the domain has nine instead of the expected ten arm repeats. A sequence predicted to be an arm repeat is instead a large insert which serves as a wedge that produces a significant bend in the overall domain structure. Structure-based sequence alignments indicate that the nine repeats and large insert are common to this subfamily of armadillo proteins. A prominent basic patch on the surface of the protein may serve as a binding site for partners of these proteins.

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