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EMBO J. 1986 Oct;5(10):2485-8.

Cadherin cell adhesion molecules with distinct binding specificities share a common structure.


Ca2+-dependent cell--cell adhesion molecules, termed cadherins, are divided into subclasses with distinct tissue distributions and distinct cell-binding specificities. To elucidate the biochemical relationship of these subclasses, we compared the pattern of tryptic cleavage and the partial amino acid sequence of mouse liver E-cadherin with those of chicken brain N-cadherin. Although these two cadherins are distinct in their cell-binding and immunological specificities, they showed an identical mol. wt and a similar tryptic cleavage pattern. We isolated tryptic fragments of E- and N-cadherin, and determined the sequences of nine amino acid residues of their amino terminus. The results showed that sequences of amino acids from the amino terminus to the 7th residues are identical in these two cadherins. We thus suggest that cadherins with distinct specificities have a common genic origin.

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