Structural-Mechanical and Biochemical Functions of Classical Cadherins at Cellular Junctions: A Review and Some Hypotheses
This article begins with a general review of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) and narrows the focus down progressively to the cadherins (calcium binding-dependent CAMs), classifications of subfamilies of the cadherins, type I (E- and N-) cadherins, evolutionary relationships amongst cadherins, structural-mechanical and functional consequences of calcium binding to the cadherins, differential molecular interactions involving the extracellular (ecto) and intracellular (cytoplasmic) domains of the cadherins, multiple adherence-related homophilic and heterophilic interactions and associated functions of E- and N-cadherin in organismal development and disease and cadherin trafficking and membrane rafts. It ends by summarizing multiple perspectives and hypotheses concerning different aspects of cadherin structure, stability and function.
KeywordsCell adhesion Epithelial cadherins Neuronal cadherins Cadherin interactions Cadherin trafficking Calcium binding Cancer Metastasis Development
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