Spontaneous assembly and active disassembly balance adherens junction homeostasis

Soonjin Hong, Regina B. Troyanovsky, Sergey M. Troyanovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


The homeostasis of adherens junctionswasstudied using E-cadherin and its two mutants tagged by the photoconvertible protein Dendra2 in epithelial A-431 cells and in CHO cells lacking endogenous cadherin. The first mutant contained point mutations of two elements, Lys738 and the dileucine motif that suppressed cadherin endocytosis. The second mutant contained, in addition, an extensive truncation that uncoupled the mutant from β-catenin and p120. Surprisingly, the intact cadherin and its truncated mutant were recruited into the junctions with identical kinetics. The full-size cadherin was actively removed from the junctions by a process that was unaffected by the inactivation of its endocytic elements. The cadherin's apparent half-residence time in the junction was about 2 min. Cadherin clusters made of the truncated mutant exhibited much slower but ATP-independent junctional turnover. Taken together, our experiments showed that adherens junction homeostasis consists of three distinctive steps: cadherin spontaneous recruitment, its lateral catenin-dependent association, and its active release from the resulting clusters. The latter process, whose mechanism is not clear, may play an important role in various kinds of normal and abnormal morphogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3528-3533
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 23 2010


  • Cadherin
  • Catenins
  • Cell-cell adhesion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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