Durham University

Department of Biosciences

Academic Staff

Publication details for Dr Arto Maatta

Long, Heather A., Boczonadi, Veronika, McInroy, Lorna, Goldberg, Martin & Maatta, Arto (2006). Periplakin-dependent re-organisation of keratin cytoskeleton and loss of collective migration in Keratin 8 down-regulated epithelial sheets. Journal of Cell Science 119(24): 5147-5159.

Author(s) from Durham


Collective migration of epithelial sheets requires maintenance of cell-cell junctions and co-ordination of the movement of the migrating front. We have investigated the role of keratin intermediate filaments and periplakin, a cytoskeletal linker protein, in the migration of simple epithelial cells. Scratch wounding induces bundling of keratins into a cable of tightly packed filaments adjacent to the free wound edge. Keratin re-organisation is preceded by a re-distribution of periplakin away from the free wound edge. Periplakin participates with dynamic changes in the keratin cytoskeleton via its C-terminal linker domain that co-localises with okadaic-acid-treated keratin granules. Stable expression of the periplakin C-terminal domain increases keratin bundling and Ser431 keratin phosphorylation at wound edge resulting in a delay in wound closure. Ablation of periplakin by siRNA inhibits keratin cable formation and impairs wound closure. Knockdown of keratin 8 with siRNA results in (1) a loss of desmoplakin localisation at cell borders, (2) a failure of MCF-7 epithelial sheets to migrate as a collective unit and (3) accelerated wound closure in vimentin-positive HeLa and Panc-1 cell lines. Thus, keratin 8 is required for the maintenance of epithelial integrity during migration and periplakin participates in the re-organisation of keratins in migrating cells.