R Nachat, S Cipolat, LM Sevilla, M Chhatriwala, KR Groot, FM Watt
J Cell Sci
Kazrin is a widely expressed, evolutionarily conserved cytoplasmic protein that binds the cytolinker protein periplakin. Multiple functions of kazrin have been reported, including regulation of desmosome assembly, embryonic tissue morphogenesis and epidermal differentiation. Here, we identify kazrinE as a kazrin isoform that contains a liprin-homology domain (LHD) and forms complexes with kazrinA, kazrinB and kazrinC. As predicted from the presence of the LHD, kazrinE can associate with the leukocyte common antigen-related (LAR) protein tyrosine phosphatase in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. When overexpressed in epidermal keratinocytes, kazrinE induces changes in cell shape and stimulates terminal differentiation. Like the other kazrin isoforms, kazrinE localises to the nucleus and desmosomes. However, in addition, kazrinE associates with stabilised microtubules via its LHD. During terminal differentiation, the keratinocyte microtubule network undergoes extensive reorganisation; in differentiating keratinocytes, endogenous kazrinE colocalises with microtubules, but periplakin does not. We speculate that the kazrinE-microtubule interaction contributes to the mechanism by which kazrin regulates desmosome formation and epidermal differentiation.