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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1994 Oct;6(5):682-7.

Desmosomal cadherins: another growing multigene family of adhesion molecules.

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Dermatology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The formation of supracellular structures, i.e. tissues and organs, is dependent on the spatially and temporally regulated formation of semistable cell-cell contacts. In recent years, the molecular components of such cell junctions, especially those occurring in epithelial cells, have been studied extensively, and the main proteins and glycoproteins of the 'adhering junctions' such as the desmosomes and the zonula adherens of polar epithelial cells have been characterized. We are now beginning to understand the complex protein-protein interactions that contribute to the assembly and disassembly of these structures and their roles in the attachment of specific filaments of the cytoskeleton.

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