Adherens junctions: from molecules to morphogenesis

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Jul;11(7):502-14. doi: 10.1038/nrm2927.


How adhesive interactions between cells generate and maintain animal tissue structure remains one of the most challenging and long-standing questions in cell and developmental biology. Adherens junctions (AJs) and the cadherin-catenin complexes at their core are therefore the subjects of intense research. Recent work has greatly advanced our understanding of the molecular organization of AJs and how cadherin-catenin complexes engage actin, microtubules and the endocytic machinery. As a result, we have gained important insights into the molecular mechanisms of tissue morphogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / genetics
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Adherens Junctions / genetics
  • Adherens Junctions / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cadherins / genetics
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Catenins / genetics
  • Catenins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microtubules / genetics
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Morphogenesis / genetics
  • Morphogenesis / physiology*


  • Actins
  • Cadherins
  • Catenins