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Eur J Cell Biol. 1990 Oct;53(1):1-12.

Identification of desmoglein, a constitutive desmosomal glycoprotein, as a member of the cadherin family of cell adhesion molecules.

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Institute of Cell and Tumor Biology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg.


Monoclonal antibodies to the constitutive desmosomal glycoprotein desmoglein were characterized whose epitopes are located intracellularly, i.e., in the cytoplasmic portion of this molecule, and contribute to the structure of the desmosomal plaque. Using one of these antibodies (DG3.10), a peptide was isolated from a proteolytic digest of desmoglein purified from isolated bovine muzzle demosomes, and its amino acid sequence was determined. In comparisons of this sequence with the amino acid sequence of desmoglein as deduced from the sequence of cDNA clones from the same tissue, encompassing most of approximately 7.6 kb mRNA and the complete coding region of 959 residues (calculated molecular weight approximately 102,400), the DG3.10 epitope was identified in a region starting 163 amino acids before the carboxy terminus in the first of four consecutive repeats of a homologous element of 29 +/- 1 amino acids. This topological information, together with the identification of a single hydrophobic region of sufficient length to provide a transmembrane segment and of several extended regions showing high sequence homology to various cadherins, has allowed the construction of a model of the molecular organization of desmoglein. We conclude that desmoglein is a member of the cadherin family of cell adhesion glycoproteins which is characterized by an unusually long cytoplasmic domain which exceeds those of the cadherins by more than 275 amino acids, contains special repetitive elements and spans the desmosomal plaque at least once.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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