The role of adhesion energy in controlling cell-cell contacts

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2011 Oct;23(5):508-14. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Jul 30.


Recent advances in microscopy techniques and biophysical measurements have provided novel insight into the molecular, cellular and biophysical basis of cell adhesion. However, comparably little is known about a core element of cell-cell adhesion--the energy of adhesion at the cell-cell contact. In this review, we discuss approaches to understand the nature and regulation of adhesion energy, and propose strategies to determine adhesion energy between cells in vitro and in vivo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Catenins / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion*
  • Cell Movement
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Humans


  • Cadherins
  • Catenins