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Cell Commun Adhes. 2006 May-Jun;13(3):151-70.

Direct interaction of the C-terminal domain of alpha-catenin and F-actin is necessary for stabilized cell-cell adhesion.

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The Department of Cell Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8023, USA.


Alpha-catenin functions to anchor adherens junctions to the filamentous actin (F-actin) cytoskeleton, through direct and indirect binding mechanisms. When truncated at amino acid 865, alpha-catenin exhibited a markedly reduced F-actin binding affinity compared to wild-type. Expression of the truncated mutant in the alpha-catenin deficient colon carcinoma cell line, Clone A, could not restore an adhesive phenotype when compared. Furthermore, the truncated alpha-catenin fusion protein failed to concentrate at sites of cell-cell contact, to promote morphological changes associated with epithelial monolayers, and to stimulate resistance to shearing forces in a hanging drop aggregation assay. Subsequent attempts to isolate single residues governing the direct F-actin interaction, using neutralizing charge or reverse charge mutations of basic residues within a homology modeled alpha-catenin C-terminal 5-helix bundle, had no effect on F-actin cosedimentation. We conclude that direct attachment of alpha-catenin to F-actin is required to promote cadherin-mediated contact formation and strong cell-cell adhesive states.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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