Adhesion regulation at cell-cell contacts

Regulation of epithelial and endothelial functions
Actin regulation at cell-cell junction
Adhesion Regulation at Cell-Cell Contacts
Mechanobiology of cell-cell junction
Biomolecular EM of junctional complexes
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Forces at Junction

We are interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms governing cell-cell adhesive interactions.


Cadherin cell-cell adhesion molecule is a major determinant of epithelial cell function.  However, the current understanding of the structure and dynamical organization of cadherin is insufficient to explain the complex behaviors and functions associated with cadherin.  Using highly polarized cells grown on filters and deconvolution optical sectioning, we distinguished more than three populations of cadherins on the plasma membrane.  Cadherin-catenin complexes concentrated with F-actin near the apical end of the cell as well as the basal end of the cell, although the structural organization of the actin differed at the two sites.  Cadherin-catenin complexes along the medial-lateral sides of the cell did not concentrate with F-actin but were simply mixed with the bulk actin cortex.  Our new analysis demonstrates clear molecular differences in junctional composition and organization within a single polarized cell which may help to explain the complex biology that associates with cadherins in differentiated (and polarized) cells.

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