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J Cell Biol. 2000 Sep 4;150(5):1161-76.

Two cell adhesion molecules, nectin and cadherin, interact through their cytoplasmic domain-associated proteins.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine/Faculty of Medicine, Suita 565-0871, Japan.


We have found a new cell-cell adhesion system at cadherin-based cell-cell adherens junctions (AJs) consisting of at least nectin and l-afadin. Nectin is a Ca(2+)-independent homophilic immunoglobulin-like adhesion molecule, and l-afadin is an actin filament-binding protein that connects the cytoplasmic region of nectin to the actin cytoskeleton. Both the trans-interaction of nectin and the interaction of nectin with l-afadin are necessary for their colocalization with E-cadherin and catenins at AJs. Here, we examined the mechanism of interaction between these two cell-cell adhesion systems at AJs by the use of alpha-catenin-deficient F9 cell lines and cadherin-deficient L cell lines stably expressing their various components. We showed here that nectin and E-cadherin were colocalized through l-afadin and the COOH-terminal half of alpha-catenin at AJs. Nectin trans-interacted independently of E-cadherin, and the complex of E-cadherin and alpha- and beta-catenins was recruited to nectin-based cell-cell adhesion sites through l-afadin without the trans-interaction of E-cadherin. Our results indicate that nectin and cadherin interact through their cytoplasmic domain-associated proteins and suggest that these two cell-cell adhesion systems cooperatively organize cell-cell AJs.

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