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Cell Tissue Res. 1976 Sep 20;172(3):289-307.

The hemidesmosome: new fine structural features revealed by freeze-fracture techniques.


Hemidesmosomes along the dermal-epidermal junction of larval and post-metamorphic newt skin have been examined in freeze-fracture replica images correlated with electron micrographs of sectioned material. Larval hemidesmosomal sites are characterized by large (200-300 A) intramembranous granules arranged into clusters, each of which is aligned with a cytoplasmic hemidesmosomal plaque. In unfixed epidermis the granules remain attached to the A-face, while after glutaraldehyde fixation they are found on both A- and B-faces. Following metamorphosis the clusters are less distinct and localized. Replicas of unfixed B-faces and nearby cytoplasm display elongate, filamentous profiles which traverse the cytoplasmic leaflet and extend onto the B-face. The possibility that these components constitute a filamentous network serving to link tonofilaments, hemidesmosomal plaque, and basal plasmalemma is considered in view of the evidence to date. Hemidesmosomal fine structure as revealed by these studies is compared to features of desmosomes as detailed in the following report.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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