GSK3- and PRMT-1-dependent modifications of desmoplakin control desmoplakin-cytoskeleton dynamics

Lauren V. Albrecht, Lichao Zhang, Jeffrey Shabanowitz, Enkhsaikhan Purevjav, Jeffrey A. Towbin, Donald F. Hunt, Kathleen J. Green*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Intermediate filament (IF) attachment to intercellular junctions is required for skin and heart integrity, but how the strength and dynamics of this attachment are modulated during normal and pathological remodeling is poorly understood. We show that glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) and protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT-1) cooperate to orchestrate a series of posttranslational modifications on the IF-anchoring protein desmoplakin (DP) that play an essential role in coordinating cytoskeletal dynamics and cellular adhesion. Front-end electron transfer dissociation mass spectrometry analyses of DP revealed six novel serine phosphorylation sites dependent on GSK3 signaling and four novel arginine methylation sites including R2834, the mutation of which has been associated with arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (AC). Inhibition of GSK3 or PRMT-1 or overexpression of the AC-associated mutant R2834H enhanced DP-IF associations and delayed junction assembly. R2834H blocked the GSK3 phosphorylation cascade and reduced DP-GSK3 interactions in cultured keratinocytes and in the hearts of transgenic R2834H DP mice. Interference with this regulatory machinery may contribute to skin and heart diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-612
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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