Nov 1, 1989

Hemidesmosomes, collagen VII, and intermediate filaments in basal cell carcinoma

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology
J C JonesB A Goldsmith


We have undertaken an analysis of hemidesmosomes (HD) and their associated structures, intermediate filaments (IF) and anchoring fibrils (AF), in various types of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Using a combination of electron microscopy and immunofluorescence microscopy we show that there is a correlation between the loss of HD and tumor type (i.e., in solid and infiltrative BCC hemidesmosomes are present, sometimes in reduced numbers), while there appears to be a lack of hemidesmosomes in cells of sclerosing specimens. Moreover, even though there is a loss of cytoplasmic constituents of the HD in sclerosing forms of BCC, this is not the case with regard to collagen VII, a component of AF, which are normally associated with the extracellular side of the HD. Collagen VII is localized to the basement membrane zone of tumor cells in the absence of the cytoplasmic constituents of HD. Furthermore, deposits of collagen VII occur in the connective tissue close to tumor cell populations in all but one of the BCC specimens we analyzed. In addition to modifications in HD and AF in BCC tissue, there are changes in the cytoskeletal elements of both tumor cells and the normal appearing epidermis that overlies tumor areas. In sclerosing BCC mic...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Tumor Cells, Uncertain Whether Benign or Malignant
Ventricular Fibrillation
Immunofluorescence Assay
Tumor Tissue Sample
Neoplastic Cell
Basal Cell Carcinoma Pathway
Indirect Immunofluorescence

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