Localization of specificity determining sites in cadherin cell adhesion molecules

Cell. 1990 Apr 6;61(1):147-55. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(90)90222-z.


Cadherins are a group of homophilic intercellular adhesion molecules; each member of this family exhibits binding specificity. Here, we attempted to map the sites for the specificities of these molecules by analyzing adhesives selectivities of the cells that express chimeric and point-mutated E- and P-cadherin. The results showed that the amino-terminal 113 amino acid region is essential to determine the specificities, and within this region we could identify especially important sites in which amino acid substitutions altered the binding specificity of cadherins. We also found that the epitopes for antibodies capable of blocking cadherin action are located in this amino-terminal region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cadherins / genetics*
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium / pharmacology
  • Cell Aggregation / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Chimera
  • Humans
  • L Cells / cytology
  • L Cells / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • Cadherins
  • Calcium