POF1B localizes to desmosomes and regulates cell adhesion in human intestinal and keratinocyte cell lines

Arianna Crespi, Alessandra Bertoni, Ilaria Ferrari, Valeria Padovano, Pamela Della Mina, Emilio Berti, Antonello Villa, Grazia Pietrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


By means of morphological and biochemical criteria, we here provide evidence for the localization and function of premature ovarian failure, 1B (POF1B) in desmosomes. In monolayers of Caco-2 intestinal cells and in stratified HaCaT keratinocytes, endogenous POF1B colocalized with desmoplakin at desmosome plaques and in cytoplasmic particles aligned along intermediate filaments (IFs). POF1B predominantly co-fractionated with desmosomes and IF components and exhibited properties characteristic of desmosomes (i.e., detergent insolubility and calcium independence). The role of NH 2 and COOH domains in the association of POF1B with desmosomes and IFs was revealed by transient expression of the truncated protein in Caco-2 cells and in cells lacking desmosomes. The function of POF1B in desmosomes was investigated in HaCaT keratinocytes stably downregulated for POF1B expression. Transmission electron microscopy analysis revealed a decrease in desmosome number and size, and desmosomes of the downregulated keratinocytes displayed weak electron-dense plaques. Desmosome alterations were associated with defects in cell adhesion, as revealed by the reduced resistance to mechanical stress in the dispase fragmentation assay. Moreover, desmosome localization of POF1B was restricted to granular layers in human healthy epidermis, whereas it largely increased in hyperproliferative human skin diseases, thus demonstrating the localization of POF1B also in desmosomes of multistratified epithelia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-201
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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