An epithelial cell attach to its adjacent epithelial cell by Desmosomes. Desmosomes are intercellular junctions found in epithelial as well as cardiac muscle cells and provide strong adhesion between two adjacent cells. Desmosomes are also known as macula adherens. They are mostly localized in the plasma membrane of the cells.
Desmosomes are mainly comprised of desmosome-intermediate filament complexes (DIFC). The DIFC is composed of cadherin, linker proteins, and intermediate filaments. The desmosomal cadherins are comprised of two subtypes of proteins called desmogleins and desmocollins. They are calcium (Ca2+) dependent cell adhesion molecules. They provide a platform where the intermediate filaments of the cells are attached and provide mechanical support to the cells.
Desmosomes are discovered by Italian pathologist Giulio Bizzozero in the spinous layer of the epidermis. Therefore, desmosomes are also known as “nodes of Bizzozero,” In 1920, the term desmosome was introduced by Josef Schaffer.