Plakophilins: Multifunctional Scaffolds for Adhesion and Signaling

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2009 Oct;21(5):708-16. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2009 Aug 10.


Armadillo family proteins known as plakophilins have been characterized as structural components of desmosomes that stabilize and strengthen adhesion by enhancing attachments with the intermediate filament cytoskeleton. However, plakophilins and their close relatives are emerging as versatile scaffolds for multiple signaling and metabolic processes that not only facilitate junction dynamics but also more globally regulate diverse cellular activities. While perturbation of plakophilin functions contribute to inherited diseases and cancer pathogenesis, the functional significance of the multiple PKP isoforms and the mechanisms by which their behaviors are regulated remain to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Disease Susceptibility / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Plakophilins / chemistry
  • Plakophilins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Plakophilins