Plectin in Skin Fragility Disorders

Cells. 2021 Oct 14;10(10):2738. doi: 10.3390/cells10102738.


Plectin is a multi-faceted, 500 kDa-large protein, which due to its expression in different isoforms and distinct organs acts diversely as a cytoskeletal crosslinker and signaling scaffold. It functions as a mediator of keratinocyte mechanical stability in the skin, primarily through linking intermediate filaments to hemidesmosomes. Skin fragility may occur through the presence of mutations in the gene encoding for plectin, PLEC, or through the presence of autoantibodies against the molecule. Below, we review the cutaneous manifestations of plectinopathies as well as their systemic involvement in specific disease subtypes. We summarize the known roles of plectin in keratinocytes and fibroblasts and provide an outlook on future perspectives for plectin-associated skin disorders.

Keywords: epidermolysis bullosa; hemidesmosome; intermediate filaments; muscular dystrophy; paraneoplastic pemphigus; plakin; pyloric atresia; skin blistering.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't