Plakoglobin regulates cell motility through Rho- and fibronectin-dependent Src signaling

Viktor Todorović, Bhushan V. Desai, Melanie J.Schroeder Patterson, Evangeline V. Amargo, Adi D. Dubash, Taofei Yin, Jonathan C.R. Jones, Kathleen J. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


We previously showed that the cell-cell junction protein plakoglobin (PG) not only suppresses motility of keratinocytes in contact with each other, but also, unexpectedly, of single cells. Here we show that PG deficiency results in extracellular matrix (ECM)-dependent disruption of mature focal adhesions and cortical actin organization. Plating PG-/- cells onto ECM deposited by PG+/- cells partially restored normal cell morphology and inhibited PG-/- cell motility. In over 70 adhesion molecules whose expression we previously showed to be altered in PG-/- cells, a substantial decrease in fibronectin (FN) in PG-/- cells stood out. Re-introduction of PG into PG-/- cells restored FN expression, and keratinocyte motility was reversed by plating PG-/- cells onto FN. Somewhat surprisingly, based on previously reported roles for PG in regulating gene transcription, PG-null cells exhibited an increase, not a decrease, in FN promoter activity. Instead, PG was required for maintenance of FN mRNA stability. PG-/- cells exhibited an increase in activated Src, one of the kinases controlled by FN, a phenotype reversed by plating PG-/- cells on ECM deposited by PG+/- keratinocytes. PG-/- cells also exhibited Src-independent activation of the small GTPases Rac1 and RhoA. Both Src and RhoA inhibition attenuated PG-/- keratinocyte motility. We propose a novel role for PG in regulating cell motility through distinct ECM-Src and RhoGTPase-dependent pathways, influenced in part by PG-dependent regulation of FN mRNA stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3576-3586
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2010


  • Armadillo protein
  • Desmosome
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Keratinocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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