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N-terminal deletion in a desmosomal cadherin causes the autosomal dominant skin disease striate palmoplantar keratoderma.

Rickman L., Simrak D., Stevens H.P., Hunt D.M., King I.A., Bryant S.P., Eady R.A.J., Leigh I.M., Arnemann J., Magee A.I., Kelsell D.P., Buxton R.S.

The N-terminal extracellular domain of the cadherins, calcium-dependent cell adhesion molecules, has been shown by X-ray crystallography to be involved in two types of interaction: lateral strand dimers and adhesive dimers. Here we describe the first human mutation in a cadherin present in desmosome cell junctions that removes a portion of this highly conserved first extracellular domain. The mutation, in the DSG1 gene coding for a desmoglein (Dsg1), results in the deletion of the first and much of the second beta-strand of the first cadherin repeat and part of the first Ca2+-binding site, and would be expected to compromise strand dimer formation. It causes a dominantly inherited skin disease, striate palmoplantar keratoderma (SPPK), mapping to chromosome 18q12.1, in which affected individuals have marked hyperkeratotic bands on the palms and soles. In a three generation Dutch family with SPPK, we have found a G-->A transition in the 3" splice acceptor site of intron 2 of the DSG1 gene which segregated with the disease phenotype. This causes aberrant splicing of exon 2 to exon 4, which are in-frame, with the consequent removal of exon 3 encoding part of the prosequence, the mature protein cleavage site and part of the first extracellular domain. This mutation emphasizes the importance of this part of the molecule for cadherin function, and of the Dsg1 protein and hence desmosomes in epidermal function.

Hum. Mol. Genet. 8:971-976(1999) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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