Cadherin-actin interactions at adherens junctions

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2011 Oct;23(5):515-22. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Jul 30.


The adherens junction (AJ) is a major cell-cell junction that mediates cell recognition, adhesion, morphogenesis, and tissue integrity. Although AJs transmit forces generated by actomyosin from one cell to another, AJs have long been considered as an area where signal transduction from cadherin ligation takes place through cell adhesion. Through the efforts to understand embryonic or cellular morphogenesis, dynamic interactions between the AJ and actin filaments have become crucial issues to be addressed since actin association is essential for AJ development, remodeling and function. Here, I provide an overview of cadherin-actin interaction from morphological aspects and of possible molecular mechanisms revealed by recent studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Actomyosin / metabolism
  • Adherens Junctions / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cell Communication
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Junctions / metabolism
  • Morphogenesis


  • Actins
  • Cadherins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Actomyosin