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Trends Cell Biol. 2004 Aug;14(8):427-34.

The ins and outs of E-cadherin trafficking.

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Institute for Molecular Bioscience and School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.


One way of controlling the activity of E-cadherin--a protein that is, simultaneously, a major cell-adhesion molecule, a powerful tumour suppressor, a determinant of cell polarity and a partner to the potent catenin signalling molecules--is to keep it on the move. During the past two decades, many insights into the fundamental role of E-cadherin in these processes have been garnered. Studies during the past five years have begun to reveal the importance of intracellular trafficking as a means of regulating the functions of E-cadherin. E-cadherin is trafficked to and from the cell surface by exocytic and multiple endocytic pathways. In this article, we survey the vesicle-trafficking machinery that is responsible for the sorting, transport, actin association and vesicle targeting of E-cadherin to regulate its movement and function during growth and development and, possibly, in cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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