The desmogleins are a family of desmosomal cadherins consisting of proteins DSG1, DSG2, DSG3, and DSG4. They play a role in the formation of desmosomes that join cells to one another.



Desmogleins are targeted in the autoimmune disease pemphigus.[1][2][3]

Desmoglein proteins are a type of cadherin, which is a transmembrane protein that binds with other cadherins to form junctions known as desmosomes between cells. These desmoglein proteins thus hold cells together, but when the body starts producing antibodies against desmoglein, these junctions break down, and this results in subsequent blister or vesicle formation.[4][5]


  1. Waschke J, Bruggeman P, Baumgartner W, Zillikens D, Drenckhahn D (November 2005). "Pemphigus foliaceus IgG causes dissociation of desmoglein 1–containing junctions without blocking desmoglein 1 transinteraction". J. Clin. Invest. 115 (11): 3157–65. doi:10.1172/JCI23475. PMC 1242188. PMID 16211092.
  2. Kljuic A, Bazzi H, Sundberg JP, et al. (April 2003). "Desmoglein 4 in hair follicle differentiation and epidermal adhesion: evidence from inherited hypotrichosis and acquired pemphigus vulgaris". Cell. 113 (2): 249–60. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(03)00273-3. PMID 12705872.
  3. Müller R, Heber B, Hashimoto T, et al. (May 2009). "Autoantibodies against desmocollins in European patients with pemphigus". Clin. Exp. Dermatol. 34 (8): 898–903. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2230.2009.03241.x. PMID 19456767.
  4. A Clinician's Guide to Pemphigus Vulgaris
  5. Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, editors. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders; 2012

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