Last revised by Joachim Feger on 11 Dec 2021

Desmin is a muscle-specific protein. It is the main intermediate filament protein and a key component in the cytoskeletal network of muscle cells e.g. in the myocardium, where it is ampler than in skeletal muscle or smooth muscle. It interacts with other proteins to support the myofibrils at the level of the Z-discs or of the intercalated discs and has a role in mechanochemical signal transmission, power transfer and the maintenance of cellular integrity 1,2. It also serves as a target in immunohistochemistry where it can be used for the characterization of muscle tissue and tumors.

History and etymology

Desmin was first described in 1976 by Lazarides and Hubbard 3.

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