Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Cell Biol. 2011 Dec 26;195(7):1115-21. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201108115. Epub 2011 Dec 19.

A complex of Protocadherin-19 and N-cadherin mediates a novel mechanism of cell adhesion.

Author information

Department of Neuroscience, School of Biomedical Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


During embryonic morphogenesis, adhesion molecules are required for selective cell-cell interactions. The classical cadherins mediate homophilic calcium-dependent cell adhesion and are founding members of the large and diverse cadherin superfamily. The protocadherins are the largest subgroup within this superfamily, yet their participation in calcium-dependent cell adhesion is uncertain. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel mechanism of adhesion, mediated by a complex of Protocadherin-19 (Pcdh19) and N-cadherin (Ncad). Although Pcdh19 alone is only weakly adhesive, the Pcdh19-Ncad complex exhibited robust adhesion in bead aggregation assays, and Pcdh19 appeared to play the dominant role. Adhesion by the Pcdh19-Ncad complex was unaffected by mutations that disrupt Ncad homophilic binding but was inhibited by a mutation in Pcdh19. In addition, the complex exhibited homophilic specificity, as beads coated with Pcdh19-Ncad did not intermix with Ncad- or Pcdh17-Ncad-coated beads. We propose a model in which association of a protocadherin with Ncad acts as a switch, converting between distinct binding specificities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center