National Center for
1NCH: Structural Basis Of Cell-Cell Adhesion By Cadherins
Nature (1995) 374 p.327-337
Crystal structures of the amino-terminal domain of N-cadherin provide a picture at the atomic level of a specific adhesive contact between cells. A repeated set of dimer interfaces is common to the structure in three lattices. These interactions combine to form a linear zipper of molecules that mirrors the linear structure of the intracellular filaments with which cadherins associate. This cell-adhesion zipper may provide a mechanism to marshal individual molecular adhesive interactions into strong bonds between cells.