The mechanism that coordinates activities of different adhesion receptors is poorly understood. We investigated this mechanism by focusing on the nectin-2 and E-cadherin adherens junction receptors. We found that, cadherin was not required for the basic process of nectin junction formation because nectin-2 formed junctions in cadherin-deficient A431D cells. Formation of nectin-2 junctions in these cells, however, became regulated by cadherin as soon as E-cadherin was re-expressed. E-cadherin recruited nectin- 2 into adherens junctions, where both proteins formed distinct but tightly associated clusters. Live-cell imaging showed that the appearance of E-cadherin clusters often preceded that of nectin-2 clusters at sites of junction assembly. Inactivation of E-cadherin clustering by different strategies concomitantly suppressed the formation of nectin clusters. Furthermore, cadherin significantly increased the stability of nectin clusters, thereby making them resistant to the BC-12 antibody, which targets the nectin-2 adhesion interface. By testing different E-cadherin-α-catenin chimeras, we showed that the recruitment of nectin into chimera junctions is mediated by the actin-binding domain of α-catenin. Our data suggests that E-cadherin regulates assembly of nectin junctions through α-catenin-induced remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton around the cadherin clusters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology