Regulation of Rho family GTPases by cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion
Integrins and cadherins are transmembrane adhesion receptors that are necessary for cells to interact with the extracellular matrix or adjacent cells, respectively. Integrins and cadherins initiate signaling pathways that modulate the activity of Rho family GTPases. The Rho proteins Cdc42, Rac1, and RhoA regulate the actin cytoskeleton. Cdc42 and Rac1 are primarily involved in the formation of protrusive structures, while RhoA generates myosin-based contractility. Here we examine the differential regulation of RhoA, Cdc42, and Rac1 by integrin and cadherin signaling. Integrin and cadherin signaling leads to a decrease in RhoA activity and activation of Cdc42 and Rac1. When the normal RhoA suppression is antagonized or RhoA signaling is increased, cells exhibited impaired spreading on the matrix protein fibronectin and decreased cell-cell adhesion. Spreading on fibronectin and the formation of cell-cell adhesions is decreased in cells expressing dominant negative forms of Cdc42 or Rac1. These data demonstrate that integrins and cadherins regulate Rho proteins in a comparable manner and lead us to speculate that these changes in Rho protein activity participate in a feedback mechanism that promotes further cell-matrix or cell-cel...Continue Reading
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Impaired cytoskeletal organization and membrane integrity in lens fibers of a Rho GTPase functional knockout transgenic mouse
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Adhesion Molecules in Health and Disease
Cell adhesion molecules are a subset of cell adhesion proteins located on the cell surface involved in binding with other cells or with the extracellular matrix in the process called cell adhesion. In essence, cell adhesion molecules help cells stick to each other and to their surroundings. Cell adhesion is a crucial component in maintaining tissue structure and function. Discover the latest research on adhesion molecule and their role in health and disease here.
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.