An adherens junction is defined as a cell junction whose cytoplasmic face is linked to the actin cytoskeleton. They can appear as bands encircling the cell (zonula adherens) or as spots of attachment to the extracellular matrix (adhesion plaques). Adherens junctions uniquely disassemble in uterine epithelial cells to allow the blastocyst to penetrate between epithelial cells. Discover the latest research on adherens junctions here.
Cadherins and Catenins
Cadherins (named for "calcium-dependent adhesion") are a type of cell adhesion molecule (CAM) that is important in the formation of adherens junctions to bind cells with each other. Catenins are a family of proteins found in complexes with cadherin cell adhesion molecules of animal cells: alpha-catenin can bind to β-catenin and can also bind actin. β-catenin binds the cytoplasmic domain of some cadherins. Discover the latest research on cadherins and catenins here.