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Cell Tissue Res. 2008 Dec;334(3):381-99. doi: 10.1007/s00441-008-0725-2. Epub 2008 Nov 13.

Protein p0071, a major plaque protein of non-desmosomal adhering junctions, is a selective cell-type marker.

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Joint Research Division Vascular Biology of the Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) at Mannheim, CBTM, Ludolf-Krehl-Strasse 13-17, 68167 Mannheim, Germany.


Protein p0071, which originally was introduced as a member of the p120-subfamily of armadillo proteins, common to desmosomes and adhaerens junctions (AJs) and to several other cell structures (centrosomes, midbodies), has been localized by using a series of novel mono- and polyclonal antibodies generated against various domains of the molecule. By protein analysis and immunolocalization techniques, protein p0071 has been localized as a plaque protein in AJs of diverse epithelia and certain vascular endothelia, in the composite junctions (areal compositae) of the intercalated disks of cardiomyocytes, and in the punctate or more extended AJs of the vast majority of cell culture types examined, including mitotic states. Using these antibodies, we have also shown that this AJ protein occurs only rarely or is even absent in tissues such as skeletal and smooth muscles, in a series of mesenchymal tissue cells, and in specific desmosome-rich cells such as those of the upper layers of the epidermis and certain other stratified epithelia and Hassall corpuscles of the thymus. We have also demonstrated that p0071 is absent from desmosomes. The occurrence of two major subtypes of lymphatic endothelial cells, one with AJs containing p0071 and one without detectable p0071, is emphasized. Possible structural and functional roles of p0071 are discussed in light of these new findings regarding its localization, and the addition of p0071 to the armamentarium of cytodiagnostic cell-type markers is recommended.

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