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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 Jan;8(1):11-20. Epub 2006 Nov 29.

The cadherin superfamily in neuronal connections and interactions.

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  • 1RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, 2-2-3 Minatojima-Minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0047, Japan.


Neural development and the organization of complex neuronal circuits involve a number of processes that require cell-cell interaction. During these processes, axons choose specific partners for synapse formation and dendrites elaborate arborizations by interacting with other dendrites. The cadherin superfamily is a group of cell surface receptors that is comprised of more than 100 members. The molecular structures and diversity within this family suggest that these molecules regulate the contacts or signalling between neurons in a variety of ways. In this review I discuss the roles of three subfamilies - classic cadherins, Flamingo/CELSRs and protocadherins - in the regulation of neuronal recognition and connectivity.

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