Classical Cadherins

  • Barry M. GumbinerEmail author


Classical cadherins mediate a wide range of cellular functions important for morphogenesis, tissue homeostasis and physiology, and disease conditions. Their core adhesive functions, in association with the contractile actomyosin cytoskeleton allow cells to sort into domains and exert forces in order to separate from their neighbors, rearrange relative to their neighbors, or cause a change in tissue shape. The diversity of classical cadherins underlies cell recognition specificity and also provides for more specialized tissue-specific functions and signaling events. Cadherin-mediated adhesion is regulated in a variety of ways to allow them to perform this diversity of physiological and developmental functions in different tissues. Regulatory mechanisms include control of cadherin gene expression and cadherin switching, cadherin membrane trafficking, cytoskeletal remodeling, and the control of the state of the adhesive bond itself. Signaling mechanisms are essential to classical cadherin functions, contributing to both their intrinsic adhesive and force generating functions as well as communicating the state of the tissue to mediate changes in growth and differentiation.


Cell adhesion Catenins Morphogenesis Actomyosin Cell sorting Signal transduction Barrier function Regulation Selectivity Structure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative MedicineSeattle Children’s Research InstituteSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA

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