Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Cytoskeletal anchorage of diferent Dsg3 pools revealed by combination of hybrid STED/SMFS‑AFM
Michael Fuchs, Mariya Y Radeva, Volker Spindler, Franziska Vielmuth, Daniela Kugelmann, Jens Waschke
Desmosome · Cell adhesion · Desmosomal anchorage · STED · AFM · STED/AFM
Desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) is a desmosomal cadherin mediating cell adhesion within desmosomes and is the antigen of the autoimmune blistering skin disease pemphigus vulgaris. Therefore, understanding of the complex desmosome turnover process is of high biomedical relevance. Recently, super resolution microscopy was used to characterize desmosome composition and turnover. However, studies were limited because adhesion measurements on living cells were not possible in parallel. Before desmosomal cadherins are incorporated into nascent desmosomes, they are not bound to intermediate filaments but were suggested to be associated with the actin cytoskeleton. However, direct proof that adhesion of a pool of desmosomal cadherins is dependent on actin is missing. Here, we applied single-molecule force spectroscopy measurements with the novel single molecule hybrid-technique STED/SMFS-AFM to investigate the cytoskeletal anchorage of Dsg3 on living keratinocytes for the first time. By application of pharmacological agents we discriminated two different Dsg3 pools, only one of which is anchored to actin filaments. We applied the actin polymerization inhibitor Latrunculin B to modify the actin cytoskeleton and the PKCα activator PMA to modulate intermediate filament anchorage. On the cellular surface Dsg3 adhesion was actin-dependent. In contrast, at cell-cell contacts, Dsg3 adhesion was independent from actin but rather is regulated by PKC which is well established to control desmosome turn-over via intermediate filament anchorage. Taken together, using the novel STED/SMFS-AFM technique, we demonstrated the existence of two Dsg3 pools with different cytoskeletal anchorage mechanisms.