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F1000Prime Rep. 2013 Sep 2;5:35. doi: 10.12703/P5-35.

A mechanobiological perspective on cadherins and the actin-myosin cytoskeleton.

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


Classical cadherin receptors mediate morphogenetic cell-cell interactions within many tissues of the body. Their biological impact often entails cooperation between cadherin adhesion and the actin cytoskeleton, but how this may occur and - even more urgently - how this leads to morphogenetic outcomes are questions that remain poorly understood. Here, we suggest that the emerging field of cadherin mechanobiology provides a useful new perspective from which to revisit these issues. We propose that the actin cytoskeleton can be considered as an active agent that mediates how cadherin junctions resist, sense and transduce forces between cells.

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