Working out the strength and flexibility of desmosomes

Spiro Getsios, Arthur C. Huen, Kathleen J. Green*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

265 Scopus citations


Desmosomes have long been regarded as essential 'spot welds' that externally glue together cells within a tissue, and internally anchor the cytoskeletal network of intermediate filaments. Inactivation of desmosomal components by mutation, autoimmune antibodies and bacterial toxins breaches the structural integrity of embryos and adult tissues. But desmosomes are also functionally flexible organelles that recruit molecules capable of instructing cells within a tissue to undergo proper morphogenesis and patterning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalNature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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