RNAi-mediated inhibition of the desmosomal cadherin (desmoglein 3) impairs epithelial cell proliferation.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:? Desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) is a desmosomal adhesion protein expressed in basal and immediate suprabasal layers of skin. Importance of Dsg3 in cell-cell adhesion and maintenance of tissue integrity is illustrated by findings of keratinocyte dissociation in the autoimmune disease, pemphigus vulgaris, where autoantibodies target Dsg3 on keratinocyte surfaces and cause Dsg3 depletion from desmosomes. However, recognition of possible participation of involvement of Dsg3 in cell proliferation remains controversial. Currently, available evidence suggests that Dsg3 may have both anti- and pro-proliferative roles in keratinocytes. The aim of this study was to use RNA interference (RNAi) strategy to investigate effects of silencing Dsg3 in cell-cell adhesion and cell proliferation in two cell lines, HaCaT and MDCK. MATERIALS AND METHODS:? Cells were transfected with siRNA, and knockdown of Dsg3 was assessed by western blotting, fluorescence-activated cell sorting and confocal microscopy. Cell-cell adhesion was analysed using the hanging drop/fragmentation assay, and cell proliferation by colony forming efficiency, BrdU incorporation, cell counts and organotypic culture. RESULTS:? Silencing Dsg3 caused defects in cell-cell adhesion and concomitant reduction in cell proliferation in both HaCaT and MDCK cells. CONCLUSION:? These findings suggest that Dsg3 depletion by RNAi reduces cell proliferation, which is likely to be secondary to a defect in cell-cell adhesion, an essential function required for cell differentiation and morphogenesis.
Project description:Desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) plays a crucial role in cell-cell adhesion and tissue integrity. Increasing evidence suggests that Dsg3 acts as a regulator of cellular mechanotransduction, but little is known about its direct role in mechanical force transmission. The present study investigated the impact of cyclic strain and substrate stiffness on Dsg3 expression and its role in mechanotransduction in keratinocytes. A direct comparison was made with E-cadherin, a well-characterized mechanosensor. Exposure of oral and skin keratinocytes to equiaxial cyclic strain promoted changes in the expression and localization of junction assembly proteins. The knockdown of Dsg3 by siRNA blocked strain-induced junctional remodeling of E-cadherin and Myosin IIa. Importantly, the study demonstrated that Dsg3 regulates the expression and localization of yes-associated protein (YAP), a mechanosensory, and an effector of the Hippo pathway. Furthermore, we showed that Dsg3 formed a complex with phospho-YAP and sequestered it to the plasma membrane, while Dsg3 depletion had an impact on both YAP and phospho-YAP in their response to mechanical forces, increasing the sensitivity of keratinocytes to the strain or substrate rigidity-induced nuclear relocation of YAP and phospho-YAP. Plakophilin 1 (PKP1) seemed to be crucial in recruiting the complex containing Dsg3/phospho-YAP to the cell surface since its silencing affected Dsg3 junctional assembly with concomitant loss of phospho-YAP at the cell periphery. Finally, we demonstrated that this Dsg3/YAP pathway has an influence on the expression of YAP1 target genes and cell proliferation. Together, these findings provide evidence of a novel role for Dsg3 in keratinocyte mechanotransduction.
Project description:Desmoglein-3 (Dsg3), the Pemphigus Vulgaris (PV) antigen (PVA), plays an essential role in keratinocyte cell-cell adhesion and regulates various signaling pathways involved in the progression and metastasis of cancer where it is upregulated. We show here that expression of Dsg3 impacts on the expression and function of p53, a key transcription factor governing the responses to cellular stress. Dsg3 depletion increased p53 expression and activity, an effect enhanced by treating cells with UVB, mechanical stress and genotoxic drugs, whilst increased Dsg3 expression resulted in the opposite effects. Such a pathway in the negative regulation of p53 by Dsg3 was Dsg3 specific since neither E-cadherin nor desmoplakin knockdown caused similar effects. Analysis of Dsg3-/- mouse skin also indicated an increase of p53/p21WAF1/CIP1 and cleaved caspase-3 relative to Dsg3+/- controls. Finally, we evaluated whether this pathway was operational in the autoimmune disease PV in which Dsg3 serves as a major antigen involved in blistering pathogenesis. We uncovered increased p53 with diffuse cytoplasmic and/or nuclear staining in the oral mucosa of patients, including cells surrounding blisters and the pre-lesional regions. This finding was verified by in vitro studies where treatment of keratinocytes with PV sera, as well as a characterized pathogenic antibody specifically targeting Dsg3, evoked pronounced p53 expression and activity accompanied by disruption of cell-cell adhesion. Collectively, our findings suggest a novel role for Dsg3 as an anti-stress protein, via suppression of p53 function, and this pathway is disrupted in PV.
Project description:Desmosomes provide intercellular adhesive strength required for integrity of epithelial and some non-epithelial tissues. Within the epidermis, the cadherin-type adhesion molecules desmoglein (Dsg) 1-4 and desmocollin (Dsc) 1-3 build the adhesive core of desmosomes. In keratinocytes, several isoforms of these proteins are co-expressed. However, the contribution of specific isoforms to overall cell cohesion is unclear. Therefore, in this study we investigated the roles of Dsg2 and Dsg3, the latter of which is known to be essential for keratinocyte adhesion based on its autoantibody-induced loss of function in the autoimmune blistering skin disease pemphigus vulgaris (PV). The pathogenic PV antibody AK23, targeting the Dsg3 adhesive domain, led to profound loss of cell cohesion in human keratinocytes as revealed by the dispase-based dissociation assays. In contrast, an antibody against Dsg2 had no effect on cell cohesion although the Dsg2 antibody was demonstrated to interfere with Dsg2 transinteraction by single molecule atomic force microscopy and was effective to reduce cell cohesion in intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells which express Dsg2 as the only Dsg isoform. To substantiate these findings, siRNA-mediated silencing of Dsg2 or Dsg3 was performed in keratinocytes. In contrast to Dsg3-depleted cells, Dsg2 knockdown reduced cell cohesion only under conditions of increased shear. These experiments indicate that specific desmosomal cadherins contribute differently to keratinocyte cohesion and that Dsg2 compared to Dsg3 is less important in this context.
Project description:Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune disease of the skin and mucous membranes and is characterized by development of autoantibodies against the desmosomal cadherins desmoglein (Dsg) 3 and Dsg1 and formation of intraepidermal suprabasal blisters. Depletion of Dsg3 is a critical mechanism in PV pathogenesis. Because we did not detect reduced Dsg3 levels in keratinocytes cultured for longer periods under high-Ca(2+) conditions, we hypothesized that Dsg depletion depends on Ca(2+)-mediated keratinocyte differentiation. Our data indicate that depletion of Dsg3 occurs specifically in deep epidermal layers both in skin of patients with PV and in an organotypic raft model of human epidermis incubated using IgG fractions from patients with PV. In addition, Dsg3 depletion and loss of Dsg3 staining were prominent in cultured primary keratinocytes and in HaCaT cells incubated in high-Ca(2+) medium for 3 days, but were less pronounced in HaCaT cultures after 8 days. These effects were dependent on protein kinase C signaling because inhibition of protein kinase C blunted both Dsg3 depletion and loss of intercellular adhesion. Moreover, protein kinase C inhibition blocked suprabasal Dsg3 depletion in cultured human epidermis and blister formation in a neonatal mouse model. Considered together, our data indicate a contribution of Dsg depletion to PV pathogenesis dependent on Ca(2+)-induced differentiation. Furthermore, prominent depletion in basal epidermal layers may contribute to the suprabasal cleavage plane observed in PV.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Desmoglein 3 (Dsg3), a desmosomal adhesion protein, is expressed in basal and immediate suprabasal layers of skin and across the entire stratified squamous epithelium of oral mucosa. However, increasing evidence suggests that the role of Dsg3 may involve more than just cell-cell adhesion. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:To determine possible additional roles of Dsg3 during epithelial cell adhesion we used overexpression of full-length human Dsg3 cDNA, and RNAi-mediated knockdown of this molecule in various epithelial cell types. Overexpression of Dsg3 resulted in a reduced level of E-cadherin but a colocalisation with the E-cadherin-catenin complex of the adherens junctions. Concomitantly these transfected cells exhibited marked migratory capacity and the formation of filopodial protrusions. These latter events are consistent with Src activation and, indeed, Src-specific inhibition reversed these phenotypes. Moreover Dsg3 knockdown, which also reversed the decreased level of E-cadherin, partially blocked Src phosphorylation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Our data are consistent with the possibility that Dsg3, as an up-stream regulator of Src activity, helps regulate adherens junction formation.
Project description:Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune blistering disease of skin and mucous membranes caused by autoantibodies to the desmoglein (DSG) family proteins DSG3 and DSG1, leading to loss of keratinocyte cell adhesion. To learn more about pathogenic PV autoantibodies, we isolated 15 IgG antibodies specific for DSG3 from 2 PV patients. Three antibodies disrupted keratinocyte monolayers in vitro, and 2 were pathogenic in a passive transfer model in neonatal mice. The epitopes recognized by the pathogenic antibodies were mapped to the DSG3 extracellular 1 (EC1) and EC2 subdomains, regions involved in cis-adhesive interactions. Using a site-specific serological assay, we found that the cis-adhesive interface on EC1 recognized by the pathogenic antibody PVA224 is the primary target of the autoantibodies present in the serum of PV patients. The autoantibodies isolated used different heavy- and light-chain variable region genes and carried high levels of somatic mutations in complementary-determining regions, consistent with antigenic selection. Remarkably, binding to DSG3 was lost when somatic mutations were reverted to the germline sequence. These findings identify the cis-adhesive interface of DSG3 as the immunodominant region targeted by pathogenic antibodies in PV and indicate that autoreactivity relies on somatic mutations generated in the response to an antigen unrelated to DSG3.
Project description:E-cadherin mediated cell-cell adhesion plays a critical role in epithelial cell polarization and morphogenesis. Our recent studies suggest that the desmosomal cadherin, desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) cross talks with E-cadherin and regulates its adhesive function in differentiating keratinocytes. However, the underlying mechanism remains not fully elucidated. Since E-cadherin trafficking has been recognized to be a central determinant in cell-cell adhesion and homeostasis we hypothesize that Dsg3 may play a role in regulating E-cadherin trafficking and hence the cell-cell adhesion. Here we investigated this hypothesis in cells with loss of Dsg3 function through RNAi mediated Dsg3 knockdown or the stable expression of the truncated mutant Dsg3?C. Our results showed that loss of Dsg3 resulted in compromised cell-cell adhesion and reduction of adherens junction and desmosome protein expression as well as the cortical F-actin formation. As a consequence, cells failed to polarize but instead displayed aberrant cell flattening. Furthermore, retardation of E-cadherin internalization and recycling was consistently observed in these cells during the process of calcium induced junction assembling. In contrast, enhanced cadherin endocytosis was detected in cells with overexpression of Dsg3 compared to control cells. Importantly, this altered cadherin trafficking was found to be coincided with the reduced expression and activity of Rab proteins, including Rab5, Rab7 and Rab11 which are known to be involved in E-cadherin trafficking. Taken together, our findings suggest that Dsg3 functions as a key in cell-cell adhesion through at least a mechanism of regulating E-cadherin membrane trafficking.
Project description:Pemphigus is an autoimmune blistering disease targeting the desmosomal proteins desmoglein (Dsg) 1 and Dsg3. Recently, a genetic variant of the Suppression of tumorigenicity 18 (ST18) promoter was reported to cause ST18 up-regulation, associated with pemphigus vulgaris (PV)-IgG-mediated increase in cytokine secretion and more prominent loss of keratinocyte cohesion. Here we tested the effects of PV-IgG and the pathogenic pemphigus mouse anti-Dsg3 antibody AK23 on cytokine secretion and ERK activity in human keratinocytes dependent on ST18 expression. Without ST18 overexpression, both PV-IgG and AK23 induced loss of keratinocyte cohesion which was accompanied by prominent fragmentation of Dsg3 immunostaining along cell borders. In contrast, release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1?, IL-6, TNF?, and IFN-? was not altered significantly in both HaCaT and primary NHEK cells. These experiments indicate that cytokine expression is not strictly required for loss of keratinocyte cohesion. Upon ST18 overexpression, fragmentation of cell monolayers increased significantly in response to autoantibody incubation. Furthermore, production of IL-1? and IL-6 was enhanced in some experiments but not in others whereas release of TNF-? dropped significantly upon PV-IgG application in both EV- and ST18-transfected HaCaT cells. Additionally, in NHEK, application of PV-IgG but not of AK23 significantly increased ERK activity. In contrast, ST18 overexpression in HaCaT cells augmented ERK activation in response to both c-IgG and AK23 but not PV-IgG. Because inhibition of ERK by U0126 abolished PV-IgG- and AK23-induced loss of cell cohesion in ST18-expressing cells, we conclude that autoantibody-induced ERK activation was relevant in this scenario. In summary, similar to the situation in PV patients carrying ST18 polymorphism, overexpression of ST18 enhanced keratinocyte susceptibility to autoantibody-induced loss of cell adhesion, which may be caused in part by enhanced ERK signaling.
Project description:In pemphigus vulgaris, a life-threatening autoimmune skin disease, epidermal blisters are caused by autoantibodies primarily targeting desmosomal cadherins desmoglein 3 (DSG3) and DSG1, leading to loss of keratinocyte cohesion. Due to limited insights into disease pathogenesis, current therapy relies primarily on nonspecific long-term immunosuppression. Both direct inhibition of DSG transinteraction and altered intracellular signaling by p38 MAPK likely contribute to the loss of cell adhesion. Here, we applied a tandem peptide (TP) consisting of 2 connected peptide sequences targeting the DSG adhesive interface that was capable of blocking autoantibody-mediated direct interference of DSG3 transinteraction, as revealed by atomic force microscopy and optical trapping. Importantly, TP abrogated autoantibody-mediated skin blistering in mice and was effective when applied topically. Mechanistically, TP inhibited both autoantibody-induced p38 MAPK activation and its association with DSG3, abrogated p38 MAPK-induced keratin filament retraction, and promoted desmosomal DSG3 oligomerization. These data indicate that p38 MAPK links autoantibody-mediated inhibition of DSG3 binding to skin blistering. By limiting loss of DSG3 transinteraction, p38 MAPK activation, and keratin filament retraction, which are hallmarks of pemphigus pathogenesis, TP may serve as a promising treatment option.
Project description:Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a life-threatening autoimmune disease characterized by oral mucosal erosions and epidermal blistering. The autoantibodies generated target the desmosomal cadherin desmoglein-3 (Dsg3). Previous studies demonstrate that upon PV IgG binding, Dsg3 is internalized and enters an endo-lysosomal pathway where it is degraded. To define the endocytic machinery involved in PV IgG-induced Dsg3 internalization, human keratinocytes were incubated with PV IgG, and various tools were used to perturb distinct endocytic pathways. The PV IgG.Dsg3 complex failed to colocalize with clathrin, and inhibitors of clathrin- and dynamin-dependent pathways had little or no effect on Dsg3 internalization. In contrast, cholesterol binding agents such as filipin and nystatin and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein dramatically inhibited Dsg3 internalization. Furthermore, the Dsg3 cytoplasmic tail specified sensitivity to these inhibitors. Moreover, inhibition of Dsg3 endocytosis with genistein prevented disruption of desmosomes and loss of adhesion in the presence of PV IgG. Altogether, these results suggest that PV IgG-induced Dsg3 internalization is mediated through a clathrin- and dynamin-independent pathway and that Dsg3 endocytosis is tightly coupled to the pathogenic activity of PV IgG.