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Dev Dyn. 2008 Sep;237(9):2328-41. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21651.

Inhibition of cell adhesion by xARVCF indicates a regulatory function at the plasma membrane.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, McGill University, Quebec, Canada.


The cytoplasmic tail of cadherins is thought to regulate the strength and dynamics of cell-cell adhesion. Part of its regulatory activity has been attributed to a membrane-proximal region, the juxtamembrane domain (JMD), and its interaction with members of the p120 catenin subfamily. We show that titration of xARVCF, a member of this family, to the plasma membrane disrupts adhesion in the early embryo. Adhesion can be restored by coexpression of constitutively active Rac, suggesting that intracellular signaling is the primary cause in the loss of adhesion phenotype. Our observations suggest that the recruitment of p120 type catenins to the plasma membrane by the cadherin cytoplasmic tail may create protein complexes, which actively modulate the adhesion "status" of embryonic cells.

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