The molecular biology of desmosomes and hemidesmosomes: ?What's in a name?'

Legan, P.K., Collins, J.E. and Garrod, D.R. (1992) The molecular biology of desmosomes and hemidesmosomes: ?What's in a name?'. BioEssays, 14, (6), 385-393. (doi:10.1002/(ISSN)1521-1878). (PMID:1503553).


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Desmosomes are junctions involved in intercellular adhesion of epithelial cells and hemidesmosomes are junctions involved in adhesion of epithelia to basement membranes. Both are characterised at the ultrastructural level by dense cytoplasmic plaques which are linked to the intermediate filament cytoskeleton of the cells. The plaques strongly resemble each other suggesting a relationship between the two kinds of junctions, as implied by their names. Recent characterisation of the molecular components of the junctions shows they are, in fact, quite unrelated implying that structural similarity is fortuitous. The molecular biology raises many fascinating problems relating to their structure and function.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1002/(ISSN)1521-1878
ISSNs: 0265-9247 (print)
1521-1878 (electronic)
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Infection, Inflammation and Repair
ePrint ID: 179801
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
June 1992Published
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2011 13:18
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:35

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