Kathleen Green, PhD
Professor, Pathology; Feinberg School of Medicine
Our work has established that in addition to playing a critical role in cell-cell adhesion, desmosomal cadherins serve as signaling scaffolds that dictate cell behavior and control the balance of proliferation and differentiation in complex tissues and during cancer progression. We identified the desmosomal cadherin, desmoglein 1, as a signaling hub required for dampening EGFR and MAPK signaling to promote keratinocyte differentiation. Our current work is investigating an emerging role for desmoglein 1 in paracrine signaling within the tissue microenvironment to control the behavior of neighboring melanocytes and melanoma cells.