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Biol Chem. 2004 Oct;385(10):885-92.

Roles of nectins in cell adhesion, migration and polarization.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Kumamoto University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto 860-8556, Japan.


Nectins are Ca2+-independent immunoglobulin (Ig)-like cell-cell adhesion molecules, which comprise a family consisting of four members. Nectins have five activities: (1) they show Ca2+-independent cell-cell adhesion activity by homo- and hetero-trans-interactions through their extracellular regions; (2) they bind afadin, an actin filament (F-actin)-binding protein, through their cytoplasmic tails and are connected to the actin cytoskeleton; (3) they induce activation of Cdc42 and Rac small G proteins through their cytoplasmic tails; (4) they bind Par-3, a cell polarity protein, through their cytoplasmic tails; and (5) they heterophilically trans-interact with Necls, nectin-like molecules, through their extracellular regions. Through these activities, nectins regulate a variety of cellular functions, including adhesion, migration, and polarization. Here we describe these activities and functions of nectins.

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