noun, plural: spot desmosomes
A type of desmosome characterized by a circular or spot-like rivet between neighboring cells
Desmosomes are anchoring junctions between neighboring cells. A similar anchoring junction is the hemidesmosome. Both desmosomes and hemidesmosomes use intermediate filaments as their cytoskeletal anchor. However, the transmembrane linker of desmosomes is cadherin whereas that of hemidesmosomes is integrins. Furthermore, desmosomes link cell to another cell whereas hemidesmosomes link cell to the extracellular matrix.
Desmosomes are typically found in simple and stratified squamous epithelium. They aid in resisting shearing forces. They are also found between myocytes where they bind these cells to one another. There are basically two types of desmosomes identified: (1) spot desmosomes and (2) belt desmosomes. Their difference lies on their appearance. The belt desmosomes are belt-like surrounding the cell completely, hence, the name. Spot desmosomes, on the contrary, are spot-like or circular in appearance. Spot desmosomes are also called macula adherens (i.e. macula means spot). Spot desmosomes together with belt desmosomes and tight junctions form the so-called junctional complex.1
- macula adherens
1 Quick review: the 5 main intercellular junctions. Retrieved from [].