Product(s) used in this publication: Peptide
Desmosome remodeling is crucial for epidermal regeneration, differentiation and wound healing. It is mediated by adapting the composition, and by post-translational modifications, of constituent proteins. We have previously demonstrated in mouse suprabasal keratinocytes that plakophilin (PKP) 1 mediates strong adhesion, which is negatively regulated by insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) signaling. The importance of PKP3 for epidermal adhesion is incompletely understood. Here, we identify a major role of epidermal growth factor (EGF), but not IGF1, signaling in PKP3 recruitment to the plasma membrane to facilitate desmosome assembly. We find that ribosomal S6 kinases (RSKs) associate with and phosphorylate PKP3, which promotes PKP3 association with desmosomes downstream of the EGF receptor. Knockdown of RSKs as well as mutation of an RSK phosphorylation site in PKP3 interfered with desmosome formation, maturation and adhesion. Our findings implicate a coordinate action of distinct growth factors in the control of adhesive properties of desmosomes through modulation of PKPs in a context-dependent manner.