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Mol Biol Cell. 2001 Jun;12(6):1595-609.

alpha-catenin-independent recruitment of ZO-1 to nectin-based cell-cell adhesion sites through afadin.

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


ZO-1 is an actin filament (F-actin)-binding protein that localizes to tight junctions and connects claudin to the actin cytoskeleton in epithelial cells. In nonepithelial cells that have no tight junctions, ZO-1 localizes to adherens junctions (AJs) and may connect cadherin to the actin cytoskeleton indirectly through beta- and alpha-catenins as one of many F-actin-binding proteins. Nectin is an immunoglobulin-like adhesion molecule that localizes to AJs and is associated with the actin cytoskeleton through afadin, an F-actin-binding protein. Ponsin is an afadin- and vinculin-binding protein that also localizes to AJs. The nectin-afadin complex has a potency to recruit the E-cadherin-beta-catenin complex through alpha-catenin in a manner independent of ponsin. By the use of cadherin-deficient L cell lines stably expressing various components of the cadherin-catenin and nectin-afadin systems, and alpha-catenin-deficient F9 cell lines, we examined here whether nectin recruits ZO-1 to nectin-based cell-cell adhesion sites. Nectin showed a potency to recruit not only alpha-catenin but also ZO-1 to nectin-based cell-cell adhesion sites. This recruitment of ZO-1 was dependent on afadin but independent of alpha-catenin and ponsin. These results indicate that ZO-1 localizes to cadherin-based AJs through interactions not only with alpha-catenin but also with the nectin-afadin system.

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