Cingulin, paracingulin, and PLEKHA7: signaling and cytoskeletal adaptors at the apical junctional complex

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012 Jun;1257:125-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06506.x.


Cingulin, paracingulin, and PLEKHA7 are proteins localized in the cytoplasmic region of the apical junctional complex of vertebrate epithelial cells. Cingulin has been detected at tight junctions (TJs), whereas paracingulin has been detected at both TJs and adherens junctions (AJs) and PLEKHA7 has been detected at AJs. One function of cingulin and paracingulin is to regulate the activity of Rho family GTPases at junctions through their direct interaction with guanidine exchange factors of RhoA and Rac1. Cingulin also contributes to the regulation of transcription of several genes in different types of cultured cells, in part through its ability to modulate RhoA activity. PLEKHA7, together with paracingulin, is part of a protein complex that links E-cadherin to the microtubule cytoskeleton at AJs. In this paper, we review the current knowledge about these proteins, including their discovery, the characterization of their expression, localization, structure, molecular interactions, and their roles in different developmental and disease model systems.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adherens Junctions / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tight Junctions / metabolism*
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein / metabolism


  • CGN protein, human
  • CGNL1 protein, human
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • PLEKHA7 protein, human
  • TJP1 protein, human
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein