Isolation of a hemidesmosome-rich fraction from a human squamous cell carcinoma cell line

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Abstract

Hemidesmosomes are cell-to-matrix adhesion complexes anchoring keratinocytes to basement membranes. For the first time, we present a method to prepare a fraction from human cultured cells that are highly enriched in hemidesmosomal proteins. Using DJM-1 cells derived from human squamous cell carcinoma, accumulation of hemidesmosomes was observed when these cells were cultured for more than 10 days in a commercial serum-free medium without supplemental calcium. Electron microscopy demonstrated that numerous electron-dense adhesion structures were present along the basal cell membranes of DJM-1 cells cultured under the aforementioned conditions. After removing cellular materials using an ammonia solution, hemidesmosomal proteins and deposited extracellular matrix were collected and separated by electrophoresis. There were eight major polypeptides, which were determined to be plectin, BP230, BP180, integrin α6 and β4 subunits, and laminin-332 by immunoblotting and mass spectrometry. Therefore, we designated this preparation as a hemidesmosome-rich fraction. This fraction contained laminin-332 exclusively in its unprocessed form, which may account for the promotion of laminin deposition, and minimal amounts of Lutheran blood group protein, a nonhemidesmosomal transmembrane protein. This hemidesmosome-rich fraction would be useful not only for biological research on hemidesmosomes but also for developing a serum test for patients with blistering skin diseases.

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