The desmosomal cadherin desmoglein-3 acts as a keratinocyte anti-stress protein via suppression of p53.
ABSTRACT: 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: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.
Project description: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:Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an epithelial blistering disease caused by autoantibodies to the desmosomal cadherin desmoglein 3 (DSG3). Glucocorticoids improve disease within days by increasing DSG3 gene transcription, although the mechanism for this observation remains unknown. Here, we show that DSG3 transcription in keratinocytes is regulated by Stat3. Treatment of primary human keratinocytes (PHKs) with hydrocortisone or rapamycin, but not the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB202190, significantly increases DSG3 mRNA and protein expression and correspondingly reduces phospho-S727 Stat3. Stat3 inhibition or shRNA-knockdown also significantly increases DSG3 mRNA and protein levels. Hydrocortisone- or rapamycin-treated PHKs demonstrate increased number and length of desmosomes by electron microscopy and are resistant to PV IgG-induced loss of cell adhesion, whereas constitutive activation of Stat3 in PHKs abrogates DSG3 upregulation and inhibits hydrocortisone and rapamycin's therapeutic effects. Topical hydrocortisone, rapamycin, or Stat3 inhibitor XVIII prevents autoantibody-induced blistering in the PV passive transfer mouse model, correlating with increased epidermal DSG3 expression and decreased phospho-S727 Stat3. Our data indicate that glucocorticoids and rapamycin upregulate DSG3 transcription through inhibition of Stat3. These studies explain how glucocorticoids rapidly improve pemphigus and may also offer novel insights into the physiologic and pathophysiologic regulation of desmosomal cadherin expression in normal epidermis and epithelial carcinomas.
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: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:In patients with pemphigus vulgaris (PV), autoantibodies against desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) cause loss of cell-cell adhesion of keratinocytes in the basal and immediate suprabasal layers of stratified squamous epithelia. The pathology, at least partially, may depend on protease release from keratinocytes, but might also result from antibodies interfering with an adhesion function of Dsg3. However, a direct role of desmogleins in cell adhesion has not been shown. To test whether Dsg3 mediates adhesion, we genetically engineered mice with a targeted disruption of the DSG3 gene. DSG3 -/- mice had no DSG3 mRNA by RNase protection assay and no Dsg3 protein by immunofluorescence (IF) and immunoblots. These mice were normal at birth, but by 8-10 d weighed less than DSG3 +/- or +/+ littermates, and at around day 18 were grossly runted. We speculated that oral lesions (typical in PV patients) might be inhibiting food intake, causing this runting. Indeed, oropharyngeal biopsies showed erosions with histology typical of PV, including suprabasilar acantholysis and "tombstoning" of basal cells. EM showed separation of desmosomes. Traumatized skin also had crusting and suprabasilar acantholysis. Runted mice showed hair loss at weaning. The runting and hair loss phenotype of DSG3 -/- mice is identical to that of a previously reported mouse mutant, balding (bal). Breeding indicated that bal is coallelic with the targeted mutation. We also showed that bal mice lack Dsg3 by IF, have typical PV oral lesions, and have a DSG3 gene mutation. These results demonstrate the critical importance of Dsg3 for adhesion in deep stratified squamous epithelia and suggest that pemphigus autoantibodies might interfere directly with such a function.
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:Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a severe autoimmune disease involving blistering of the skin and mucous membranes. It is caused by autoantibodies against desmoglein 3 (Dsg3), an adhesion molecule critical for maintaining epithelial integrity in the skin, oral mucosa, and esophagus. Knowing the antigen targeted by the autoantibodies renders PV a valuable model of autoimmunity. Recently, a role for Dsg3-specific CD4+ T helper cells in autoantibody production was demonstrated in a mouse model of PV, but whether these cells exert cytotoxicity in the tissues is unclear. Here, we analyzed 3 Dsg3-specific TCRs using transgenic mice and retrovirus induction. Dsg3-specific transgenic (Dsg3H1) T cells underwent deletion in the presence of Dsg3 in vivo. Dsg3H1 T cells that developed in the absence of Dsg3 elicited a severe pemphigus-like phenotype when cotransferred into immunodeficient mice with B cells from Dsg3-/- mice. Strikingly, in addition to humoral responses, T cell infiltration of Dsg3-expressing tissues led to interface dermatitis, a distinct form of T cell-mediated autoimmunity that causes keratinocyte apoptosis and is seen in various inflammatory/autoimmune skin diseases, including paraneoplastic pemphigus. The use of retrovirally generated Dsg3-specific T cells revealed that interface dermatitis occurred in an IFN-γ- and TCR avidity-dependent manner. This model of autoimmunity demonstrates that T cells specific for a physiological skin-associated autoantigen are capable of inducing interface dermatitis and should provide a valuable tool for further exploring the immunopathophysiology of T cell-mediated skin diseases.
Project description:Shared VH1-46 gene usage has been described in B cells reacting to desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) in the autoimmune disease pemphigus vulgaris (PV), as well as B cells responding to rotavirus capsid protein VP6. In both diseases, VH1-46 B cells bearing few to no somatic mutations can recognize the disease Ag. This intriguing connection between an autoimmune response to self-antigen and an immune response to foreign Ag prompted us to investigate whether VH1-46 B cells may be predisposed to Dsg3-VP6 cross-reactivity. Focused testing of VH1-46 mAbs previously isolated from PV and rotavirus-exposed individuals indicates that cross-reactivity is rare, found in only one of seven VH1-46 IgG clonotypes. High-throughput screening of IgG B cell repertoires from two PV patients identified no additional cross-reactive clonotypes. Screening of IgM B cell repertoires from one non-PV and three PV patients identified specific cross-reactive Abs in one PV patient, but notably all six cross-reactive clonotypes used VH1-46. Site-directed mutagenesis studies indicate that amino acid residues predisposing VH1-46 Abs to Dsg3 reactivity reside in CDR2. However, somatic mutations only rarely promote Dsg3-VP6 cross-reactivity; most mutations abolish VP6 and/or Dsg3 reactivity. Nevertheless, functional testing identified two cross-reactive VH1-46 Abs that both disrupt keratinocyte adhesion and inhibit rotavirus replication, indicating the potential for VH1-46 Abs to have both pathologic autoimmune and protective immune functions. Taken together, these studies suggest that certain VH1-46 B cell populations may be predisposed to Dsg3-VP6 cross-reactivity, but multiple mechanisms prevent the onset of autoimmunity after rotavirus exposure.
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.