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Formation of ordered nanoclusters controls cell-cell contact fluidity

July 2015. Visualizing single cadherins within cell membranes at nanometric resolution showed that they arrange in ordered clusters. Disruption of the cis-interface indicates that formation of oligomeric clusters controls the anchoring of cadherin to actin and cell-cell contact fluidity.

Cadherins mediate cell-cell adhesion by forming trans-interactions. Research groups from Paris, Singapore, Chicago and Frankfurt joined forces to provide evidence for the predicted formation of arrays of oligomeric cadherin in cells and to study the functional implication of cadherin oligomerization on the formation and maturation of cell–cell contacts. Visualizing single cadherins within cell membrane at a nanometric resolution, the scientists demonstrated that E-cadherins arrange in ordered clusters, providing the first demonstration of the existence of oligomeric cadherins at cell–cell contacts. In addition, the scientists investigated the consequences of a disruption of the cis-interface on cell–cell contact formation and stability. The effects of mutations on E-cadherin turnover, association to catenin and anchoring to actin were analyzed by cell imaging, FRAP analysis, and manipulation of E-cadherin-coated beads with magnetic tweezers. Their data, recently published in the Journal of Cell Biology, showed that the cis-interface was not required for adherens junction formation. Perturbations of E-cadherin cis-oligomerization had moderate effects on E-cadherin complex stability but dramatically impaired E-cadherin anchoring to the actin cytoskeleton, the overall stability of cell–cell contacts and collective cell behavior. More ...


Robert Tampé
Institute of Biochemistry
Goethe University Frankfurt
Max von Laue Straße 9
60438 Frankfurt/Germany
Tel.: +49-(0)69-798 29475
e-mail: tampe@em.uni-frankfurt.de


Full reference:
Strale P, Duchesne L, Peyret G, Montel L, Nguyen T, Png E, Tampé R, Troyanovsky S, Hénon S, Ladoux B, Mège R (2015) The formation of ordered nanoclusters controls cadherin anchoring to actin and cell-cell contact fluidity. J Cell Biol 210:333-346. Link