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J Cell Sci. 2000 Nov;113 ( Pt 22):4121-35.

The armadillo repeat region targets ARVCF to cadherin-based cellular junctions.

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  • 1Institut der Anthropologie und Humangenetik fuer Biologen, Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universitaet Frankfurt, Siesmayerstrasse 70, D-60054 Frankfurt/Main, Germany.


The cytoplasmic domain of the transmembrane protein M-cadherin is involved in anchoring cytoskeletal elements to the plasma membrane at cell-cell contact sites. Several members of the armadillo repeat protein family mediate this linkage. We show here that ARVCF, a member of the p120 (ctn) subfamily, is a ligand for the cytoplasmic domain of M-cadherin, and characterize the regions involved in this interaction in detail. Complex formation in an in vivo environment was demonstrated in (1) yeast two-hybrid screens, using a cDNA library from differentiating skeletal muscle and part of the cytoplasmic M-cadherin tail as a bait, and (2) mammalian cells, using a novel experimental system, the MOM recruitment assay. Immunoprecipitation and in vitro binding assays confirmed this interaction. Ectopically expressed EGFP-ARVCF-C11, an N-terminal truncated fragment, targets to junctional structures in epithelial MCF7 cells and cardiomyocytes, where it colocalizes with the respective cadherins, beta-catenin and p120 (ctn). Hence, the N terminus of ARVCF is not required for junctional localization. In contrast, deletion of the four N-terminal armadillo repeats abolishes this ability in cardiomyocytes. Detailed mutational analysis revealed the armadillo repeat region of ARVCF as sufficient and necessary for interaction with the 55 membrane-proximal amino acids of the M-cadherin tail.

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