Adherens junctions interactions
Species Homo sapiens
The adherens junctions (AJ) are multiprotein complexes that promote homotypic cell adhesion in nearly all types of tissue by linking membrane and cytoskeletal components at discrete contact regions (reviewed in Hartsock & Nelson 2008; Gumbiner 2005; Ebnet, 2008). The molecular constituents of adherens junctions form adhesive units which are organized into higher order junctional adhesions that create a zipper-like seal between adjacent cells. Junctional adhesions function in epithelial cell polarization and in the coupling of cytoskeletons in adjacent cells that allow coordinated movements. During embryonic development, AJs function in specifying adhesion between cells and contribute in the sorting of different cell types. AJs also regulate cell polarity and shape, promote cell-cell communication and help mediate contact inhibition of cell growth. This module covers transdimerization events involving AJ transmembrane proteins (cadherins and nectins) (Gumbiner 2005; Ebnet 2008; Hartsock & Nelson 2008).
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