Adhesion proteins and the control of cell shape

Richard W. Carthew*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The adherens junction functions to connect epithelial cells and maintain their polarized architecture. The geometry of the adherens junction, and consequently the shape of a cell, appears to reach an energetically favorable state. Cadherins within the adherens junction are necessary for cells to achieve this state. However, the view of an adherens junction as a static structure is at odds with the highly dynamic properties of epithelia during development. Interactions between the actin cytoskeleton and the adherens junction are required for certain cell shape changes. Recent insights into adherens junction remodeling have revealed the importance of polarized localization of myosin and Par3 at the adherens junction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-363
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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