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Curr Biol. 2013 Nov 18;23(22):2197-2207. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.09.015. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Principles of E-cadherin supramolecular organization in vivo.

Author information

1
Developmental Biology Institute of Marseilles, UMR 7288 CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France.
2
Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA; University of California, Department of Physics, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA.
3
Developmental Biology Institute of Marseilles, UMR 7288 CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France. Electronic address: pierre-francois.lenne@univ-amu.fr.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

E-cadherin plays a pivotal role in tissue morphogenesis by forming clusters that support intercellular adhesion and transmit tension. What controls E-cadherin mesoscopic organization in clusters is unclear.

RESULTS:

We use 3D superresolution quantitative microscopy in Drosophila embryos to characterize the size distribution of E-cadherin nanometric clusters. The cluster size follows power-law distributions over three orders of magnitude with exponential decay at large cluster sizes. By exploring the predictions of a general theoretical framework including cluster fusion and fission events and recycling of E-cadherin, we identify two distinct active mechanisms setting the cluster-size distribution. Dynamin-dependent endocytosis targets large clusters only, thereby imposing a cutoff size. Moreover, interactions between E-cadherin clusters and actin filaments control the fission in a size-dependent manner.

CONCLUSIONS:

E-cadherin clustering depends on key cortical regulators, which provide tunable and local control over E-cadherin organization. Our data provide the foundation for a quantitative understanding of how E-cadherin distribution affects adhesion and might regulate force transmission in vivo.

PMID:
24184100
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2013.09.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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