Reference work entry
Historical Background: The Larger Cadherin Superfamily
Cadherins comprise a large protein superfamily of calcium-dependent proteins associated with the plasma membrane. They are hallmarked by at least two consecutive extracellular cadherin repeats (ECs) in their extracellular domain. Epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin or cadherin-1) is the founding family member and represents the classic or type-I cadherins. These cadherins mediate specific and strong cell-cell adhesion and play key roles in local organization of cytoskeletal structures and in signaling cascades, as documented below. The mature E-cadherin contains an ectodomain of about 550 amino acids (AA) comprising five ECs, a single transmembrane (TM) domain, and a cytoplasmic domain (CD) of about 150 AA. The CD has two highly conserved domains for binding either p120ctn and related protein family members or β-catenin and the...
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