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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jan 7;275(1):613-8.

Interaction of nectin with afadin is necessary for its clustering at cell-cell contact sites but not for its cis dimerization or trans interaction.

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Takai Biotimer Project, ERATO, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, c/o JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., 2-2-10 Murotani, Nishi-ku, Kobe 651-2241, Japan.


We have recently found a novel functional unit of cell-cell adhesion at cadherin-based adherens junctions, consisting of at least nectin, a homophilic cell adhesion molecule, and afadin, an actin filament-binding protein, which connects nectin to the actin cytoskeleton. Here we studied a mechanism of cell-cell adhesion of the nectin-afadin system by use of a cadherin-deficient L cell line stably expressing the intact form of mouse nectin-2alpha, a truncated form of nectin-2alpha incapable of interacting with afadin (nectin-2alpha-DeltaC), or a point-mutated form of nectin-2alpha capable of interacting with afadin and a cadherin-expressing EL cell line, which transiently expressed the point-mutated form of nectin-2alpha. We found that the interaction of nectin-2alpha with afadin was necessary for their clustering at cell-cell contact sites. However, nectin-2alpha-DeltaC showed cis dimerization and trans interaction, both of which did not require the interaction of nectin-2alpha with afadin. We have previously shown in EL cells that the interaction of nectin-1 with afadin is necessary for its recruitment to adherens junctions. We found that the trans interaction of nectin-2alpha was furthermore necessary for this recruitment. On the basis of these observations, we propose a model for the mechanism of cell-cell adhesion of nectin and roles of afadin in this mechanism.

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