M-cadherin and its sisters in development of striated muscle

Cell Tissue Res. 1999 Apr;296(1):191-8. doi: 10.1007/s004410051280.


Cadherins are calcium-dependent, transmembrane intercellular adhesion proteins with morphoregulatory functions in the development and maintenance of tissues. In the development of striated muscle, the expression and function of mainly M-, N-, and R-cadherin has been studied so far. While these three cadherins are expressed in skeletal muscle cells, of these only N-cadherin is expressed in cardiac muscle. In this review, M-, N-, and R-cadherin are discussed as important players in the terminal differentiation and possibly also in the commitment of skeletal muscle cells. Furthermore, reports are described which evaluate the essential role of N-cadherin in the formation of heart tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cadherins / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Heart / embryology
  • Heart / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Muscle Development*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / embryology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / growth & development*


  • Cadherins
  • R-cadherin
  • M-cadherin