A bigger picture: classical cadherins and the dynamic actin cytoskeleton

Abstract

Classical cadherin adhesion receptors influence tissue integrity in health and disease. Their biological function is intimately linked to the actin cytoskeleton. To date, research has largely focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms that physically couple cadherin to cortical actin filaments. However, the junctional cytoskeleton is dynamic. Recent developments in understanding how filament dynamics and organization in the junctional cytoskeleton are controlled provide new insights into how the actin cytoskeleton regulates cadherin junctions in health and disease.

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Figure 1: Cadherin–junctional cytoskeleton cooperation through physical interactions between cadherins and actin filaments.
Figure 2: Cadherin–actin cooperation through control of actin dynamics at junctions.
Figure 3: The impact of a dynamic actin cytoskeleton on cadherin biology.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank B. Brieher, M. Way, R. Parton and all their colleagues in the laboratory for many stimulating conversations, and the anonymous reviewers for thoughtful suggestions. A.S.Y. is supported by grants (APP1010489) and a Research Fellowship (631383) from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Australian Research Council (DP 0988935) and Kids Cancer Project of the Oncology Children's Foundation. A.R. was supported by a grant from the Human Frontiers Science Program.

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Ratheesh, A., Yap, A. A bigger picture: classical cadherins and the dynamic actin cytoskeleton. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 13, 673–679 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrm3431

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