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Slac2-b Coordinates Extracellular Vesicle Secretion to Regulate Keratinocyte Adhesion and Migration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Early online date2 Sep 2020
Accepted/In press18 Aug 2020
E-pub ahead of print2 Sep 2020

King's Authors


Slac2-b, also known as exophilin-5, is a Rab27b effector protein with a role in exosome transport and is encoded by the EXPH5 gene. We previously described biallelic loss-of-function mutations in EXPH5 in an autosomal recessive form of epidermolysis bullosa simplex. However, how the loss of Slac2-b expression leads to skin fragility and erosions is unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that keratinocytes (KCs) isolated from two different individuals with mutations in EXPH5 have significant defects in cell‒matrix adhesion. EXPH5-mutant KCs also showed increased perinuclear accumulation and significantly reduced trafficking of CD63+ vesicles. These phenotypes were also seen in Slac2-b‒deficient KCs. This was coincident with a reduction in Rab27a protein expression in Slac2-b‒mutant KCs as well as reduced secretion of extracellular vesicles containing extracellular matrix proteins. Live imaging analysis revealed a strong correlation between CD63+ vesicle trafficking to the plasma membrane and focal adhesion dynamics. These findings support a role for Slac2-b in regulating local focal adhesion dynamics to support effective KC adhesion and provide insight into the underlying pathophysiology of inherited skin blistering.

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