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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2012 Oct;24(5):628-36. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Spatial segregation between cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions.

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Laboratoire de Physiologie Cellulaire et Végétale, Institut de Recherche en Technologies et Sciences pour le Vivant, CNRS/UJF/INRA/CEA, 17 rue des martyrs, 38054, Grenoble, France.


Cell-cell adhesion (CCA) and cell-matrix adhesion (CMA) play determinant roles in the architecture and function of epithelial cells. CCA and CMA are supported by transmembrane molecular complexes that dynamically interact with the extracellular environment and the cell cytoskeleton. Although those complexes have distinct functions, they are involved in a continuous crosstalk. In epithelia, CCA and CMA segregate in distinct regions of the cell surface and thereby take part in cell polarity. Recent results have shown that the two adhesion systems exert negative feedback on each other and appear to regulate actin network dynamics and mechanical force production in different ways. In light of this, we argue that the interplay between these regulatory mechanisms plays an important role in the spatial separation of cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions components in distinct regions of the cell surface.

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