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Bioessays. 2002 Nov;24(11):996-1003.

Reciprocal raft-receptor interactions and the assembly of adhesion complexes.

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Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Cell adhesion complexes are critical for the physical coordination of cell-cell interactions and the morphogenesis of tissues and organs. Many adhesion receptors are anchored to the plasma membrane by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) moiety and are thereby partitioned into membrane rafts. In this review, we focus on reciprocal interactions between rafts and adhesion molecules, leading to receptor clustering and raft expansion and stability. A model for a three-stage adhesion complex assembly process is also proposed. First, GPI-anchored adhesion molecules are recruited into rafts, which in turn promote receptor cis-oligomerization and thereby produce precursory complexes primed for avid trans-interactions. Second, trans-interactions of the receptors cross-link and stabilize large amalgams of rafts at sites of adhesion complex assembly. Finally, the enlarged and stabilized rafts acquire enhanced abilities to recruit the cytoskeleton and induce signaling. This process exemplifies how the domain structure of the plasma membrane can impact the function of its receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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