Desmosomes


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Related to Desmosomes: Gap junctions

Desmosomes

 

(from Greek desmos, “ligament,” “band” and soma, “body”), surface structures of animal cells, which make it possible for them to be connected to one another. Previously desmosomes were thought to be intercellular bridges. However, electron-microscope research has shown that each desmosome consists of two “halves” (that belong to neighboring cells), divided by a slit-like space (100-200 angstroms). The outer part of the desmosome, which is turned toward the slit-like space, apparently consists of a thickening of the plasma membrane. Next to it lies a wider part formed by a network of fibrillae. Despite the morphological isolation of the desmosome “halves,” cells where they are located are more firmly connected to one another.

References in periodicals archive ?
Contrary to popular scientific thinking the researchers revealed a revolutionary finding -- that the desmosomes achieve their strength through flexibility rather than rigidity.
Desmosomes are also thought to be involved in helping to suppress cancer.
This protein can be then incorporated into desmosomes, or used for the formation of new desmosomes in tissue.
For epithelioid mesotheliomas these include very long, thin apical microvilli that do not have a glycocalyx, as opposed to the generally shorter microvilli of adenocarcinomas that usually do have a glycocalyx; perinuclear tonofilament bundles; the presence of basal lamina; and long desmosomes.
We know that people who have defects in their desmosomes have problems with their epidermis and get extremely unpleasant skin diseases.
But in the Transmission Electron Micrographs, their cellular ultrastructure was visible and the entire length of cells lay stretched along the length of the fibers establishing tight junctions with neighbouring cells or with close cell-cell communication through the desmosomes (Fig 5a, b).
signaling), cell matrix adhesions in three dimensions, cell-cell junctions, signaling to and through the endothelial adherens junction, gap junctions (connexin functions), tight junctions in simple and stratified epithelium, desmosomes in development and disease, cadherin trafficking and junction dynamics, and cross-talk in cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions.
Immunoelectron microscopy has localized both pemphigus vulgaris (desmoglein 3) and pemphigus foliaceus (desmoglein 1) antigens to the desmosomes, the most prominent cell-cell adhesion junctions in stratified squamous epithelia (12, 13).
The finding of epithelial elements, mature desmosomes, and tonofilaments in the original neoplasm secured the diagnosis of spindle-cell squamous carcinoma.
Pemphigus vulgaris is an autoimmune skin disease characterized by acantholytic skin lesions with autoantibodies directed against desmoglen, plakoglobins, and cadherin polypeptides of desmosomes and other cell-cell adhesion molecules.
Desmosomes are adhesive structures that are intimately involved in maintaining the structure, function and integrity of the skin and other epithelial tissues.