James K. Wahl

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We have identified desmoglein-2 (DSG-2) as the primary high-affinity receptor used by adenoviruses Ad3, Ad7, Ad11 and Ad14. These serotypes represent key human pathogens causing respiratory and urinary tract infections. In epithelial cells, adenovirus binding of DSG-2 triggers events reminiscent of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, leading to transient(More)
Two cell-cell junctions, the adherens junction and the desmosome, are prominent in epithelial cells. These junctions are composed of transmembrane cadherins which interact with cytoplasmic proteins that serve to link the cadherin to the cytoskeleton. One component of both adherens junctions and desmosomes is plakoglobin. In the adherens junction plakoglobin(More)
Squamous epithelial cells have both adherens junctions and desmosomes. The ability of these cells to organize the desmosomal proteins into a functional structure depends upon their ability first to organize an adherens junction. Since the adherens junction and the desmosome are separate structures with different molecular make up, it is not immediately(More)
Plakophilins (PKPs) are armadillo family members related to the classical cadherin-associated protein p120(ctn). PKPs localize to the cytoplasmic plaque of intercellular junctions and participate in linking the intermediate filament (IF)-binding protein desmoplakin (DP) to desmosomal cadherins. In response to cell-cell contact, PKP2 associates with DP in(More)
Plakophilins (Pkp-1, -2, and -3) comprise a family of armadillo repeat-containing proteins first identified as desmosomal plaque components, in which they link desmoplakin to the desmosomal cadherins. In addition to their role in desmosomal cell-cell adhesion, Pkps also localize to the nucleus, where they perform unknown functions. Of the three Pkps, Pkp-1(More)
Desmogleins play critical roles in cell adhesion and skin blistering diseases, as they are the target antigens of autoimmune antibodies and bacterial toxins. We recently cloned several novel members of the desmoglein gene family, bringing the number of desmogleins to four in the rat and human genomes and six in the mouse. Here, we have produced a monoclonal(More)
Cadherins are calcium-dependent glycoproteins that function as cell-cell adhesion molecules and are linked to the actin cytoskeleton via catenins. Newly synthesized cadherins contain a prosequence that must be proteolytically removed to generate a functional adhesion molecule. The goal of this study was to examine the proteolytic processing of N-cadherin(More)
Desmosomes are critical for the tissue integrity of stratified epithelia and their appendages. Desmogleins (DSGs) and desmocollins (DSCs) are transmembrane desmosomal cadherins that interact extracellularly to link neighboring epithelial cells. We recently identified a new member of the DSG family, designated desmoglein 4, whose mutations cause(More)
The Snail family of zinc finger transcription factors plays an important role in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in a variety of tissues and systems. Slug (SNAI2) expression has been shown to directly contribute to a subset of events required for EMT in events such as re-epithelialization during wound healing and neural crest cell migration. In(More)
Using phage display, we identified Na+/H+ exchanger regulatory factor (NHERF)-2 as a novel binding partner for the cadherin-associated protein, beta-catenin. We showed that the second of two PSD-95/Dlg/ZO-1 (PDZ) domains of NHERF interacts with a PDZ-binding motif at the very carboxy terminus of beta-catenin. N-cadherin expression has been shown to induce(More)