Adhesive and Lateral E-Cadherin Dimers are Mediated by the Same Interface

Regina B. Troyanovsky, Eugene Sokolov, Sergey M. Troyanovsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


E-cadherin is a transmembrane protein that mediates Ca2+ -dependent cell-cell adhesion. To study cadherin-cadherin interactions that may underlie the adhesive process, a recombinant E-cadherin lacking free sulfhydryl groups and its mutants with novel cysteines were expressed in epithelial A-431 cells. These cysteine mutants, designed according to various structural models of cadherin dimers, were constructed to reveal cadherin dimerization by the bifunctional sulfhydryl-specific cross-linker BM[PE0]3. Cross-linking experiments with the mutants containing a cysteine at strand B of their EC1 domains did show cadherin dimerization. By their properties these dimers correspond to those which have been characterized by coimmunoprecipitation assay. Under standard culture conditions the adhesive dimer is a dominant form. Calcium depletion dissociates adhesive dimers and promotes the formation of lateral dimers. Our data show that both dimers are mediated by the amino-terminal cadherin domain. Furthermore, the interfaces involved in both adhesive and lateral dimerization appear to be the same. The coexistence of the structurally identical adhesive and lateral dimers suggests some flexibility of the extracellular cadherin region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7965-7972
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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