Cadherins and associated proteins

In Vivo. Sep-Oct 1991;5(5):505-13.


Cadherins comprise a family of cell surface, calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion glycoproteins widely distributed in developing and mature multicellular organisms. Here we show that three distinct cadherins, (E-, P-, and N-cadherin) associate with a group of non-cadherin-related proteins, termed catenins, postulated to link cadherins to the actin-based cytoskeleton. We present evidence that the catenin repertoire is identical when different members of the cadherin family are isolated from the same cell and similar, but distinct, when isolated from different cell types and different organisms. The association of catenins with cadherins is not dependent upon cadherin assuming its calcium-dependent conformation and appears to occur prior to expression of mature, functional cadherin at the cell surface.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cadherins / chemistry*
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes / chemistry*
  • Muscles / chemistry*
  • Trans-Activators*
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin


  • CTNNA1 protein, human
  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin