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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2002 Apr;12(2):255-62.

The cytoplasmic face of cell contact sites.

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Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 299 Campus Drive West, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


The cytoplasmic face of cell contact sites comprises large macromolecular assemblies that link transmembrane cell adhesion molecules to the cytoskeleton. These assemblies are dynamic structures that are the targets of regulatory signals that control cell adhesiveness. Recent studies of the biochemistry and structure of the cadherin-catenin complex, vinculin and proteins of the ezrin/radixin/moesin family have begun to reveal the architecture of these assemblies and the mechanisms that are involved in their regulation.

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