Epithelial maturity influences EPEC-induced desmosomal alterations

Jennifer Lising Roxas, Gayatri Vedantam, V. K. Viswanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Desmosomes are junctional protein complexes that confer strong adhesive capacity to adjacent host cells. In a recent study, we showed that enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) disrupts desmosomes, weakens cell-cell adhesion and perturbs barrier function of intestinal epithelial (C2BBe) cells. Desmosomal damage was dependent on the EPEC effector protein EspH and its inhibitory effect on Rho GTPases. EspH-mediated Rho inactivation resulted in retraction of keratin intermediate filaments and degradation of desmosomal cadherins. Immunofluorescence studies of EPEC-infected C2BBe cells revealed keratin retraction towards the nucleus coincident with significant cytoplasmic redistribution of the desmosomal cadherin desmoglein-2 (DSG2). In this addendum, we expand on how EPEC-induced keratin retraction leads to loss of DSG2 anchoring at the junctions, and show that maturity of the epithelial cell monolayer impacts the fate of desmosomes during infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalGut microbes
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • DSG2
  • EPEC
  • EspH
  • Rho GTPase
  • desmoglein
  • desmosome
  • keratin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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