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Cell Adh Migr. 2015;9(3):183-92. doi: 10.1080/19336918.2015.1005466. Epub 2015 Apr 14.

N-cadherin-based adherens junction regulates the maintenance, proliferation, and differentiation of neural progenitor cells during development.

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a The Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences; Ochanomizu University ; Tokyo , Japan.


This review addresses our current understanding of the regulatory mechanism by which N-cadherin, a classical cadherin, affects neural progenitor cells (NPCs) during development. N-cadherin is responsible for the integrity of adherens junctions (AJs), which develop in the sub-apical region of NPCs in the neural tube and brain cortex. The apical domain, which contains the sub-apical region, is involved in the switching from symmetric proliferative division to asymmetric neurogenic division of NPCs. In addition, N-cadherin-based AJ is deeply involved in the apico-basal polarity of NPCs and the regulation of Wnt-β-catenin, hedgehog (Hh), and Notch signaling. In this review, we discuss the roles of N-cadherin in the maintenance, proliferation, and differentiation of NPCs through components of AJ, β-catenin and αE-catenin.


AJ, adherens junction; EC, extracellular; Fox, forkhead box; Frz, frizzled; GFAP, glial fibrillary acidic protein; GSK3β, glycogen synthase kinase 3β; Hes, hairly/enhancer of split; Hh, hedgehog; IP, intermediate progenitor; KO, knockout; LEF, lymphocyte enhancer factor; N-cadherin; NPC, neural progenitor cell; Par, partition defective complex protein; Ptc, Pached; Smo, smoothened; Sox2, sry (sex determining region Y)-box containing gene 2; TA cell, transient amplifying cell; ZO-1, Zonula Occludens-1.; TCF, T-cell factor; aPKC, atypical protein kinase C; adherens junction; apico-basal polarity; iPSC, induced pluripotent stem cell; neural progenitor cells; ngn2, neurogenin 2; shRNA, short hairpin RNA; β-catenin

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