Desmosomes (Maculae adherens)
Definition: Disc shaped adhesive junction containing cadherins found in a variety of tissues, but most notably epithelia, where they are located basal to adherens junction. Dense cytoplasmic plaques on the inner surface of the plasma membrane in this region serves as sites of anchorage for looping intermediate filaments that extend into the cytoplasm.
  • Anchoring junctions called desmosomes connect the cytoskeleton of adjacent cells
  • Button like weids joining opposing cell membranes
  • Cadherins bind the membranes of adjacent cells in a way that gives strength and rigidity to the entire tissue
Molecular structure of desmosomes
Intermediate filaments of cytoskeleton linked to adjoining cells through cadherins
desmosomesTwo cadherins
  • Desmoglein
  • Desmocollin
Adaptor proteins: Plakoglobin and desmoplakin
Linked to epidermal keratins
Example- Epithelium
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