Different epithelial intercellular junctions contain distinct complexes incorporating plakoglobin. In adherens junctions, plakoglobin interacts with two molecules, the transmembrane adhesion protein of the cadherin family (e.g. E-cadherin) and α-catenin. The latter is thought to anchor the cadherin-plakoglobin complex to the cortical actin cytoskeleton. In desmosomes, plakoglobin forms a complex with desmosomal cadherins, either desmoglein (Dsg) or desmocollin (Dsc), but not with α-catenin. To further understand the structure and assembly of the plakoglobin-cadherin complexes we analyzed amino acid residues involved in plakoglobin-Dsg interactions using alanine scanning mutagenesis. Previously, we have shown that plakoglobin interacts with a 72 amino acid-long cytoplasmic domain (C-domain) that is conserved among desmosomal and classic cadherins. In this paper, we show that a row of the large hydrophobic residues located at the C-terminal portion of the Dsg C-domain is indispensable for interaction with plakoglobin. To study a reciprocal site we expressed plakoglobin (MPg) or its mutants tagged by 6 myc epitope in epithelial A-431 cells. Using sucrose gradient centrifugation and subsequent co-immunoprecipitation, MPg was found to be efficiently incorporated into the same type of complexes as endogenous plakoglobin. A major pool of Dsg-plakoglobin complexes sedimented at 8S and exhibited a 1:1 stoichiometry. Using alanine scanning mutagenesis and the co-immunoprecipitation assay we identified nine hydrophobic amino acids within the arm repeats 1-3 of plakoglobin, that are required for binding to Dsg and Dsc. Eight of these amino acids also participate in the interaction with α-catenin. No mutations were found to reduce the affinity of plakoglobin binding to E-cadherin. These data provide direct evidence that the same hydrophobic plakoglobin surface is essential for mutually exclusive interaction with distinct proteins such as α-catenin and desmosomal cadherins.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Cell Science|
|State||Published - Sep 3 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology