The intercellular junctions known as desmosomes are responsible for strong cell-cell adhesion in many tissues and this function is particularly important where resistance to mechanical stress is essential, as in epidermis and cardiac muscle. Although the principal molecular components of desmosomes have been characterised very little is known about the assembled desmosome structure.
In collaboration with colleagues in the Faculty of Life Sciences, this project aims to use atomic force microscopy to study:
- The association of recombinant desmosomes components
- The internal structure of desmosomes using the AFM tip as a combined nano-dissection and imaging tool