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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Desmocollin switching in colorectal cancer.

The desmocollins are members of the desmosomal cadherin family of cell-cell adhesion molecules. They are essential constituents of desmosomes, intercellular junctions that play a critical role in the maintenance of tissue integrity in epithelia and cardiac muscle. In humans, three desmocollins (Dsc1, Dsc2 and Dsc3) have been described. The desmocollins exhibit tissue-specific patterns of expression; only Dsc2 is expressed in normal colonic epithelium. We have found switching between desmocollins in sporadic colorectal adenocarcinoma with a reduction in Dsc2 protein (in 8/16 samples analysed by immunohistochemistry) being accompanied by de novo expression of Dsc1 (16/16) and Dsc3 (7/16). Similar results were obtained by western blotting of a further 16 samples. No change was found in Dsc2 mRNA, but de novo expression of Dscs 1 and 3 was accompanied by increased message levels. Loss of Dsc2 (8/19) and de novo expression of Dsc1 (11/19) and Dsc3 (6/19) was also found in colorectal adenocarcinomas on a background of colitis. The data raise the possibility that switching of desmocollins could play an important role in the development of colorectal cancer.British Journal of Cancer (2006) 95, 1367-1370. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6603453; Published online 31 October 2006.[1]


  1. Desmocollin switching in colorectal cancer. Khan, K., Hardy, R., Haq, A., Ogunbiyi, O., Morton, D., Chidgey, M. Br. J. Cancer (2006) [Pubmed]
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