American Journal of Dermatology and Venereology

The American Journal of Dermatology and Venereology publishes articles of general and practical interest in the field of dermatology and venereology including clinical and basic science topics, as well as research with practical implications.It publishes original articles, critical reviews, research notes, debate and short reports in all areas of dermatology and venereology.

James K. Wahl III

Editorial Board Member of American Journal of Dermatology and Venereology

Associate Professor, The University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Dentistry, USA

Research Areas

Epithelial Cell-Cell Adhesion, Cadherin Biology, Desmosome Assembly and Regulation


1994-2000Ph.DThe University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, Biology
1988-1993B.ScThe University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, Biology


2008-presentAssociate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical, Center College of Dentistry, Department of Oral Biology, Lincoln, Nebraska
2008Awarded Continuous Appointment (Tenure)
2005-presentCourtesy Appointment, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Department of Genetics, Cell, Biology, and Anatomy, Omaha, Nebraska
2003-presentMember, Eppley Cancer Center
2003-2008Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical, Center College of Dentistry, Department of Oral Biology
2001-2003Research Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska, Medical Center College of Dentistry, Department of Oral Biology
2000-2001Postdoctoral Associate, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio

Academic Achievement

1992 The University of Toledo Undergraduate Summer Fellowship
1994 33rd Annual Midwest Developmental Biology Meeting, "Are-catenin and plakoglobin in the same cadherin/catenin complex?" Outstanding Poster Presentation
1995 Sigma Xi Outstanding Oral Presentation, "Plakoglobin interactions with the desmosomal cadherins"
2003 UNMC College of Dentistry Outstanding Performance Stipend
2004 UNMC College of Dentistry Outstanding Performance Stipend
2005 UNMC College of Dentistry Outstanding Performance Stipend
2005 Attended NIH Grants Workshop for Tenure-Track Dental School Faculty, Bethesda, MD
2007 UNMC Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator


American Society for Cell Biology
International Association of Dental Research
American Association of Dental Research
American Dental Education Association

Publications: Journals

[1]  Johnson, K.R., Lewis, J.E., Li, D., Wahl, J.K., Soler, A.P., Knudsen, K.A. and Wheelock, M.J. P-and E-cadherin are in separate complexes in cells expressing both cadherins. Exp Cell Res 207:252-60, 1993.
[2]  Wahl, J.K., Sacco, P.A., McGranahan-Sadler, T.M., Sauppe, L.M., Wheelock, M.J. and Johnson, K.R. Plakoglobin domains that define its association with the desmosomal cadherins and the classical cadherins: identification of unique and shared domains. J Cell Sci 109:1143-54, 1996.
[3]  Lewis, J.E., Wahl, J.K., Sass, K.M., Jensen, P.J., Johnson, K.R. and Wheelock, M.J. Cross-talk between adherens junctions and desmosomes depends on plakoglobin. J Cell Biol 136:919-34, 1997.
[4]  Wahl, J.K., Nieset, J.E., Sacco-Bubulya, P.A., Sadler, T.M., Johnson K.R. and Wheelock M.J. The amino-and carboxyl-terminal tails of beta-catenin reduce its affinity for desmoglein 2. J Cell Sci 113:1737-45, 2000.
[5]  Hakuno, M., Shimizu, H., Akiyama, M., Amagai, M., Wahl, J.K., Wheelock, M.J. and Nishikawa, T. Dissociation of intra-and extracellular domains of desmosomal cadherins and E-cadherin in Hailey-hailey disease and Darier's disease. Br J Dermatol 142:702-11, 2000.
[6]  Proby, C.M., Ota, T., Suzuki, H., Koyasu, S., Gamou, S., Shimizu, N., Wahl, J.K., Wheelock, M.J., Nishikawa, T. and Amagai, M. Development of chimeric molecules for recognition and targeting of antigen-specific B cells in pemphigus vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 142:321-30, 2000.
[7]  Wu, H., Wang, Z.H., Yan, A., Lyle, S., Fakharzadeh, S., Wahl, J.K., Wheelock M.J., Ishikawa, H., Uitto, J., Amagai, M. and Stanley, J.R. Protection against pemphigus foliaceus by desmoglein 3 in neonates. New Engl J Med 343:31-35, 2000.
[8]  Bercher, M., Wahl, J.K., Vogel, B., Lu, C., Hedgecock, E., Hall, D. and Plenefisch, J. mua-3 a gene required for mechanical tissue integrity in Caenorhabditis elegans, encodes a novel transmembrane protein of epithelial attachment complexes. J Cell Biol 154: 415-426, 2001.
[9]  Wahl, J.K. Generation of monoclonal antibodies specific for desmoglein family members. Hybridoma and Hybridomics 21:37-44, 2002.
[10]  Jackson, D., Dhar, K., Wahl, J.K., Wold, M. and Borgstahl, G.E. Analysis of the human replication protein A:Rad52 complex: evidence for crosstalk between RPA32, PRA70, Rad52 and DNA. J Mol Biol 321:133-148, 2002.
[11]  Wahl, J.K., Kim, Y, Cullen, J., Johnson, K.R. and Wheelock, M.J. N-cadherin/catenin complexes form prior to cleavage of the proregion and transport to the plasma membrane. J Biol Chem 278:17269-76, 2003.
[12]  Brennan, D., Hu, Y., Kljuic, A., Choi, Y., Joubeh, S., Bashkin, M., Wahl, J.K., Fertalal, A., Pulkkinen, L., Uitto, J., Chistiano, A.M., Panteleyev, A. and Mahoney, M.G. Differential structural properties and expression patterns suggest functional significance for multiple mouse desmoglein 1 isoforms. Differentiation 72:434-449, 2004.
[13]  Kim, Y.J., Sauer, C., Testa, K., Wahl, J.K., Svoboda, R.A., Johnson, K.R., Wheelock, M.J. and Knudsen, K.A. Modulating the strength of cadherin adhesion: evidence for a novel adhesion complex. J Cell Sci 118(17):3883-94, 2005.
[14]  Wahl, J.K. A role for plakophilin-1 in the initiation of desmosome assembly. J Cellular Biochem 96(2):390-403, 2005.
[15]  Mahoney, M.G., Hu, Y., Brennan, D., Bazzi, H., Christiano, A.M. and Wahl 3rd, J.K. Delineation of diversified desmoglein distribution in stratified squamous epithelia: implications in diseases. Exp Dermatol 15:101-9, 2006.
[16]  Bazzi, H., Getz, A., Mahoney, M.G., Ishida-Yamamoto, A., Langbein, L., Wahl 3rd, J.K. and Christiano, A.M. Desmoglein 4 is expressed in highly differentiated keratinocytes and trichocytes in human epidermis and hair follicle. Differentiation 74:129-40, 2006.
[17]  Sobolik-Delmaire, T., Katafiasz, D. and Wahl 3rd, J.K. Carboxyl terminus of plakophilin-1 recruits it to plasma membrane, whereas amino terminus recruits desmoplakin and promotes desmosome assembly. J Biol Chem 281:16962-70, 2006.
[18]  Maeda, M., Johnson, E., Mandal, S.H., Lawson, K.R., Keim, S.A., Svoboda, R.A., Caplan, S., Wahl, 3rd, J.K., Wheelock, M.J. and Johnson, K.R. Expression of inappropriate cadherins by epithelial tumor cells promotes endocytosis and degradation of E-cadherin via competition for p120(ctn). Oncogene 25:4595-604, 2006.
[19]  Sobolik-Delmaire, T., Katafiasz, D., Keim, S.A., Mahoney, M.G. and Wahl 3rd, J.K. Decreased plakophilin-1 expression promotes increased motility in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells. Cell Commun Adhes 14:99-109, 2007.
[20]  Theisen, C.S., Wahl 3rd, J.K., Johnson, K.R. and Wheelock, M.J. NHERF links the N-cadherin/catenin complex to the PDGF receptor to modulate the actin cytoskeleton and regulate cell motility. Mol Biol Cell 18(4):1220-32, Apr 2007.
[21]  Bass-Zubek, A.E., Hobbs, R.P., Amargo, E.V., Garcia, N.J., Hsieh, S.N., Chen, X., Wahl III, J.K., Denning, M.F. and Green, K.J. Plakophilin 2: A critical scaffold for PKC alpha that regulates intercellular junction assembly. J Cell Biol 181(4):605-13, 2008.
[22]  Keim, S.A., Johnson, K.R., Wheelock, M.J. and Wahl III, J.K. Generation and characterization of monoclonal antibodies against the proregion of human desmoglein-2. Hybridoma 27:249-58, 2008.
[23]  Hall, C., Li, S., Li, H., Creason, V. and Wahl, J. K., 3rd. Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy plakophilin-2 mutations disrupt desmosome assembly and stability. Cell Commun Adhes, 1-13, 2009.
[24]  Mahoney, M. Y., Sadowski, S., Brennan, D., Pikander, P., Saukko, P., Wahl, J., Aho, H., Heikinheimo, K., Bruckner-Tuderman, L., Fertala, A. et al. Compound heterozygous desmoplakin mutations result in a phenotype with a combination of myocardial, skin, hair, and enamel abnormalities. J Invest Dermatol 130, 968-78, 2009.
[25]  Mahoney, M.G., S. Sadowski, D. Brennan, P. Pikander, P. Saukko, J. Wahl, H. Aho, K. Heikinheimo, L. Bruckner-Tuderman, A. Fertala, J. Peltonen, J. Uitto, and S. Peltonen. Compound heterozygous desmoplakin mutations result in a phenotype with a combination of myocardial, skin, hair, and enamel abnormalities. J Investigative Dermatol 130:968-978, 2010.
[26]  Narayana, N., J. Gist, T. Smith, D. Tylka, G. Trogdon, and J.K. Wahl. Desmosomal component expression in normal, dysplastic, and oral squamous cell carcinoma. Dermatology and Research Practice. 2010:649731, 2010.
[27]  Sobolik-Delmaire, T., R. Reddy, A. Pashaj, B.J. Roberts, and J.K. Wahl, 3rd. Plakophilin-1 localizes to the nucleus and interacts with single-stranded DNA. J Investigative Dermatol 130:2638-2646, 2010.
[28]  Wang, H., Z.Y. Li, Y. Liu, J. Persson, I. Beyer, T. Moller, D. Koyuncu, M.R. Drescher, R. Strauss, X.B. Zhang, J.K. Wahl, 3rd, N. Urban, C. Drescher, A. Hemminki, P. Fender, and A. Lieber. Desmoglein 2 is a receptor for adenovirus serotypes 3, 7, 11 and 14. Nature Medicine 17:96-104, 2011.
[29]  Bharadwaj, A.G., Goodrich, N.P., McAtee, C.O., Haferbier, K., Oakley, G.G., Wahl, J.K. 3rd, and Simpson, M.A. Hyaluronan suppresses prostate tumor cell proliferation through diminished expression of N-cadherin and aberrant growth factor receptor signaling. Exp Cell Res 317(8):1214-25, 2011.
[30]  Katafiasz, D., Smith, L.M., and Wahl J.K. 3rd. Slug (SNAI2) expression in oral SCC cells results in altered cell-cell adhesion and increased motility. Cell Adh Migr 5(4):315-22, 2011 July 1 (Epub 2011 Jul 1).
[31]  Brenna, D., Peltonen, S., Dowling, A., Medhat, W., Green, K.J. Wahl, J.K. 3rd, Del Galdo, F., and Mahoney, M.G. A role for caveolin-1 in desmoglein binding and desmosome dynamics. Onocogene doi:10.1038 2011 Aug 15 (Epub ahead of print).