Adherens junctions in the Drosophila embryo: the role of E-cadherin in their establishment and morphogenetic function

Bioessays. 1996 Aug;18(8):609-12. doi: 10.1002/bies.950180802.


The integrity of epithelia depends largely on specialised adhesive structures, the adherens junctions. Several of the components required for building these structures are highly conserved between vertebrates and insects (e.g. E-cadherin and alpha- and beta-catenin), while others have so far been found only in invertebrates (e.g. crumbs). Two recent papers(1,2) show that the Drosophila E-cadherin is encoded by the gene shotgun. Phenotypic analyses of shotgun as well as armadillo (beta-catenin) and crumbs mutants provide new insights into the mechanisms by which adherens junctions are built and, further, show that the requirement for E-cadherin largely depends on the morphogenetic activity of an epithelium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / physiology*
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Intercellular Junctions / physiology*
  • Morphogenesis


  • Cadherins