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J Biol Chem. 2007 Sep 7;282(36):26552-61. Epub 2007 Jul 9.

Ankyrin-G is a molecular partner of E-cadherin in epithelial cells and early embryos.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


E-cadherin is a ubiquitous component of lateral membranes in epithelial tissues and is required to form the first lateral membrane domains in development. Here, we identify ankyrin-G as a molecular partner of E-cadherin and demonstrate that ankyrin-G and beta-2-spectrin are required for accumulation of E-cadherin at the lateral membrane in both epithelial cells and early embryos. Ankyrin-G binds to the cytoplasmic domain of E-cadherin at a conserved site distinct from that of beta-catenin. Ankyrin-G also recruits beta-2-spectrin to E-cadherin-beta-catenin complexes, thus providing a direct connection between E-cadherin and the spectrin/actin skeleton. In addition to restricting the membrane mobility of E-cadherin, ankyrin-G and beta-2-spectrin also are required for exit of E-cadherin from the trans-Golgi network in a microtubule-dependent pathway. Ankyrin-G and beta-2-spectrin co-localize with E-cadherin in preimplantation mouse embryos. Moreover, knockdown of either ankyrin-G or beta-2-spectrin in one cell of a two-cell embryo blocks accumulation of E-cadherin at sites of cell-cell contact. E-cadherin thus requires both ankyrin-G and beta-2-spectrin for its cellular localization in early embryos as well as cultured epithelial cells. We have recently reported that ankyrin-G and beta-2-spectrin collaborate in biogenesis of the lateral membrane ( Kizhatil, K., Yoon, W., Mohler, P. J., Davis, L. H., Hoffman, J. A., and Bennett, V. (2007) J. Biol. Chem. 282, 2029-2037 ). Together with the current findings, these data suggest a ankyrin/spectrin-based mechanism for coordinating membrane assembly with extracellular interactions of E-cadherin at sites of cell-cell contact.

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