Cell adhesion in epidermal development and barrier formation

Curr Top Dev Biol. 2015;112:383-414. doi: 10.1016/bs.ctdb.2014.11.027. Epub 2015 Feb 11.


Cell-cell adhesions are necessary for structural integrity and barrier formation of the epidermis. Here, we discuss insights from genetic and cell biological studies into the roles of individual cell-cell junctions and their composite proteins in regulating epidermal development and function. In addition to individual adhesive functions, we will discuss emerging ideas on mechanosensation/transduction of junctions in the epidermis, noncanonical roles for adhesion proteins, and crosstalk/interdependencies between the junctional systems. These studies have revealed that cell adhesion proteins are connected to many aspects of tissue physiology including growth control, differentiation, and inflammation.

Keywords: Adherens junction; Adhesion; Barrier; Cytoskeleton; Desmosome; Epidermis; Skin; Tight junction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adherens Junctions / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Epidermis / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules