The desmocollins of human foreskin epidermis: identification and chromosomal assignment of a third gene and expression patterns of the three isoforms

J Invest Dermatol. 1995 Sep;105(3):314-21. doi: 10.1111/1523-1747.ep12319935.


A third human desmocollin, designated DSC3, was identified in foreskin epidermis by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using degenerate desmocollin primers. cDNA clones covering the entire coding sequence of the longer DSC3 splice variant were isolated and sequenced. Sequence comparisons indicated that this new desmocollin showed greater homology (67% amino acid identity) with the original human desmocollin (now designated DSC2) than with DSC1 (52% amino acid identity) although it had a unique potential cell adhesion recognition site (YAS). DSC3 was assigned to chromosome 18 by PCR analysis of rodent-human somatic cell hybrids, where it appears to be closely linked to all the other desmosomal cadherin genes. The expression of the three human desmocollins was examined in foreskin epidermis by in situ hybridization with 3'-untranslated riboprobes and by immunofluorescence with isoform-specific anti-peptide antibodies. DSC1 was present in the upper spinous/granular layers but not in the basal/lower spinous layers of the tissue. DSC2 and DSC3 were present in most of the living layers of the epidermis. DSC1 was not detected in any of the nonkeratinizing human epithelia examined (buccal mucosa, cervix, esophagus), indicating that it is specific for the keratinizing epithelium of the epidermis. However, all these internal epithelia expressed DSC2 and DSC3, and both were present in most of the living layers of the tissues including the basal layers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 18
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Desmocollins
  • Desmoplakins
  • Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Isomerism
  • Male
  • Molecular Probes / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Penis / metabolism*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Desmocollins
  • Desmoplakins
  • Molecular Probes
  • RNA, Messenger

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X83929