Intercellular anchoring junctions are highly specialized regions of the plasma membrane where members of the cadherin family of transmembrane adhesion molecules on opposing cells interact through their extracellular domains, and through their cytoplasmic domains serve as a platform for organizing cytoskeletal anchors and remodelers. Here we focus on assembly of so-called "anchoring" or "adhering" junctions-adherens junctions (AJs) and desmosomes (DSMs), which associate with actin and intermediate filaments, respectively. We will examine how the assembly and function of AJs and DSMs are intimately connected during embryogenesis and in adult cells and tissues, and in some cases even form specialized "mixed" junctions. We will explore signaling and trafficking machineries that drive assembly and remodeling and how these mechanisms are co-opted in human disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)