δ-Protocadherins: unique structures and functions
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- Redies, C., Vanhalst, K. & Roy, F.v. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2005) 62: 2840. doi:10.1007/s00018-005-5320-z
δ-Protocadherins constitute a group of cadherins characterized by several conserved motifs in their cytoplasmic domains. We present a phylogenetic analysis that further divides this group into δ1-protocadherins (comprising protocadherin-1, −7, −9 and −11 or -X/Y) and δ2-protocadherins (comprising protocadherin-8, −10, −17, −18 and −19). The δ-protocadherin genes, which are located on different chromosomes in man and mouse, have a similar gene structure. They are expressed as multiple splice forms, differing mostly in their cytoplasmic domains. Some δ-protocadherins were reported to mediate weak cell-cell adhesion in vitro and cell sorting in vivo. In addition, individual δ-protocadherins might play important roles in signaling pathways, as they bind to proteins such as TAF1/Set, protein phosphatase-1α and the Frizzled 7 receptor. The spatiotemporally restricted expression of δ-protocadherins in different tissues and species and the results of their functional analysis, mainly in Xenopus, suggest that they play multiple, tightly regulated roles in vertebrate development.