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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2003 Dec;13(6):690-8.

Cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion: sticking together as a family.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


The cadherins comprise a family of single-pass transmembrane proteins critical for cell-cell adhesion in vertebrates and invertebrates. The recently determined structure of the whole ectodomain from C-cadherin suggests that the adhesion of cadherins presented by juxtaposed cells is mediated by a strand-swapped dimer in which core hydrophobic elements are exchanged between the partner molecules. Sequence analysis suggests that several cadherin subfamilies share this adhesive mechanism. Recent work has shed new light on the molecular basis of cadherin adhesion, although understanding the specificity of these interactions remains a major challenge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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