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Subcell Biochem. 2012;60:111-35. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4186-7_6.

The cytoskeleton and classical cadherin adhesions.

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Division of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, 4072, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


This chapter discusses the biochemical and functional links between classical cadherin adhesion systems and the cytoskeleton. Cadherins are best understood to cooperate with the actin cytoskeleton, but there is increasing evidence for the role of junctional microtubules in regulating cadherin biology. Cadherin adhesions and the junctional cytoskeleton are both highly dynamic systems that undergo continual assembly, turnover and remodeling, and yet maintain steady state structures necessary for intercellular adhesion. This requires the functional coordination of cadherins and cadherin-binding proteins, actin regulatory proteins, organizers of microtubule assembly and structure, and signaling pathways. These components act in concert to regulate junctional organization in response to extracellular forces and changing cellular contexts, which is essential for intercellular cohesion and tissue integrity.

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