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Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2013;116:25-47. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394311-8.00002-9.

Stability and dynamics of cell-cell junctions.

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Institut de Biologie du Développement de Marseille Luminy (IBDML), Unite Mixte de Recherche 6216, Case 907, Marseille, France.


Adherens junctions display dual properties of robustness and plasticity. In multicellular organisms, they support both strong cell-cell adhesion and rapid cell-cell contact remodeling during development and wound healing. The core components of adherens junctions are clusters of cadherin molecules, which mediate cell-cell adhesion through homophilic interactions in trans. Interactions of cadherins with the actin cytoskeleton are essential for providing both stability and plasticity to adherens junctions. Cadherins regulate the turnover of actin by regulating its polymerization and anchor tensile actomyosin networks at the cell cortex. In turn, actin regulates cadherin turnover by regulating its endocytosis and actomyosin networks exert forces driving remodeling of cell-cell contacts. The interplay between adherens junctions and contractile actomyosin networks has striking outcomes during epithelial morphogenesis. Their integrated dynamics result in different morphogenetic patterns shaping tissues and organs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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