Oligomerization of cadherins could provide the stability to ensure tissue cohesion. Cadherins mediate cell-cell adhesion by forming trans-interactions. They form cis-interactions whose role could be essential to stabilize intercellular junctions by shifting cadherin clusters from a fluid to an ordered phase. However, no evidence has been provided so far for cadherin oligomerization in cellulo and for its impact on cell-cell contact stability. Visualizing single cadherins within cell membrane at a nanometric resolution, we show that E-cadherins arrange in ordered clusters, providing the first demonstration of the existence of oligomeric cadherins at cell-cell contacts. Studying the consequences of the disruption of the cis-interface, we show that it is not essential for adherens junction formation. Its disruption, however, increased the mobility of junctional E-cadherin. This destabilization strongly affected E-cadherin anchoring to actin and cell-cell rearrangement during collective cell migration, indicating that the formation of oligomeric clusters controls the anchoring of cadherin to actin and cell-cell contact fluidity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology