Plakophilin 2 affects cell migration by modulating focal adhesion dynamics and integrin protein expression

Jennifer L. Koetsier, Evangeline V. Amargo, Viktor Todorović, Kathleen J. Green, Lisa M. Godsel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Plakophilin 2 (PKP2), a desmosome component, modulates the activity and localization of the small GTPase RhoA at sites of cell-cell contact. PKP2 regulates cortical actin rearrangement during junction formation, and its loss is accompanied by an increase in actin stress fibers. We hypothesized that PKP2 may regulate focal adhesion dynamics and cell migration. Here we show that PKP2-deficient cells bind efficiently to the extracellular matrix, but upon spreading display total cell areas ∼30% smaller than control cells. Focal adhesions in PKP2-deficient cells are ∼2 × larger and more stable than in control cells, and vinculin displays an increased time for fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. Furthermore, β4 and β1 integrin protein and mRNA expression is elevated in PKP2-silenced cells. Normal focal adhesion phenotypes can be restored in PKP2-null cells by dampening the RhoA pathway or silencing β1 integrin. However, integrin expression levels are not restored by RhoA signaling inhibition. These data uncover a potential role for PKP2 upstream of β1 integrin and RhoA in integrating cell-cell and cell-substrate contact signaling in basal keratinocytes necessary for the morphogenesis, homeostasis, and reepithelialization of the stratified epidermis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-122
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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