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Gene Review

Dsc2  -  desmocollin 2

Mus musculus

Synonyms: AW228162, Desmocollin-2, Dsc2a, Dsc2b, Dsc3, ...
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Disease relevance of Dsc2

  • In addition to these constitutive desmosomal components, representative for single-layered (simple) epithelia, the dural border cells of the arachnoid and about 60% of the meningiomas tested were positive for desmocollin 3 (Dsc3), a protein in epithelia taken as an indicator for differentiation [1].

High impact information on Dsc2

  • In fact, most mutants die even before mature desmosomes are formed in the embryo, suggesting a new and unexpected role of Dsc3 during early development [2].
  • Desmocollin 3 (Dsc3) is a transmembrane glycoprotein that belongs to the cadherin family of cell adhesion receptors [2].
  • Previous reports have suggested that Dsc3 synthesis is largely restricted to stratified epithelia, and that it plays a role in the proper differentiation of these tissues during mammalian embryonic development [2].
  • In addition, L cells co-expressing Dsg1, Dsc2a, and plakoglobin failed to aggregate [3].
  • We have determined the full cDNA sequence of a murine desmocollin, the homologue of human and bovine type 2 desmocollins (DSC2), and studied its tissue distribution and expression in stratified epithelia [4].

Biological context of Dsc2

  • An 8.5 day mouse embryo cDNA library was screened yielding overlapping clones which encoded the mouse DSC2 [4].
  • Like other desmocollins, murine DSC2 has two products, Dsc2a and Dsc2b, produced by alternative splicing of a 46 bp exon which encodes 11 COOH-terminal aa followed by an in-frame stop codon [4].

Anatomical context of Dsc2

  • In contrast, the level of desmosomal cadherin proteins, desmoglein 1/2 and desmocollin 2, were substantially upregulated and accompanied, ultrastructurally, by increased number and size of desmosomes [5].
  • To understand better the processes by which Dsc expression is regulated in the epidermis, we have isolated Dsc3 and Dsc1 5'-flanking DNAs and analysed their activity in primary keratinocytes [6].
  • DSC2 is ubiquitously expressed in epithelial tissues and the heart of adult mice and from the blastocyst stage of development [4].

Other interactions of Dsc2

  • Here, we report the elucidation of the genomic structure of two mouse desmocollin genes, Dsc2 and Dsc3 [7].
  • Our results reveal Foxn1 as an essential regulator of tissue assembly in the growing hair shaft and implicate Dsc2 as a downstream effector of this activity [8].
  • One such gene encodes the desmosomal cadherin, Dsc2 [8].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Dsc2

  • In situ hybridization shows that the gene is most strongly expressed suprabasally in stratified epithelia, similar to the expression of bovine DSC2 [4].


  1. Molecular characterization of desmosomes in meningiomas and arachnoidal tissue. Akat, K., Mennel, H.D., Kremer, P., Gassler, N., Bleck, C.K., Kartenbeck, J. Acta Neuropathol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  2. Desmocollin 3 is required for pre-implantation development of the mouse embryo. Den, Z., Cheng, X., Merched-Sauvage, M., Koch, P.J. J. Cell. Sci. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. Analysis of desmosomal cadherin-adhesive function and stoichiometry of desmosomal cadherin-plakoglobin complexes. Kowalczyk, A.P., Borgwardt, J.E., Green, K.J. J. Invest. Dermatol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Cloning, sequence analysis and expression pattern of mouse desmocollin 2 (DSC2), a cadherin-like adhesion molecule. Lorimer, J.E., Hall, L.S., Clarke, J.P., Collins, J.E., Fleming, T.P., Garrod, D.R. Mol. Membr. Biol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  5. Loss of invasiveness in squamous cell carcinoma cells overexpressing desmosomal cadherins. De Bruin, A., Müller, E., Wurm, S., Caldelari, R., Wyder, M., Wheelock, M.J., Suter, M.M. Cell Adhes. Commun. (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Regulation of desmocollin gene expression in the epidermis: CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins modulate early and late events in keratinocyte differentiation. Smith, C., Zhu, K., Merritt, A., Picton, R., Youngs, D., Garrod, D., Chidgey, M. Biochem. J. (2004) [Pubmed]
  7. Genomic organization of mouse desmocollin genes reveals evolutionary conservation. Kljuic, A., Bauer, R.C., Christiano, A.M. DNA Seq. (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. Foxn1 is required for tissue assembly and desmosomal cadherin expression in the hair shaft. Johns, S.A., Soullier, S., Rashbass, P., Cunliffe, V.T. Dev. Dyn. (2005) [Pubmed]
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