Cadherin junctions and their cytoskeleton(s)

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2013 Feb;25(1):39-46. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Nov 2.


Classical cadherin adhesion receptors exert many of their biological effects through close cooperation with the cytoskeleton. Much attention has focused on attempting to understand the physical interactions between cadherin molecular complexes and cortical actin filaments. In this review we aim to draw attention to other issues that highlight the diverse and dynamic cytoskeletons that contribute to cadherin function. First, we discuss the regulation of actin filament dynamics in the cadherin-based junctional cytoskeleton, focusing on the emerging role of Arp2/3 as a junctional actin nucleator and its implications for actin homeostasis at junctions. Second, we review recent developments in understanding the impact of microtubules on cadherin function. Together, these emphasize that cadherins cooperate with multiple dynamic cytoskeletal networks at cell-cell junctions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis
  • Intercellular Junctions / metabolism
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Myosins / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Cadherins
  • Myosins