Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Expression of M-cadherin, a member of the cadherin multigene family, correlates with differentiation of skeletal muscle cells.

PMID 1840697


Cadherins, a multigene family of transmembrane glycoproteins, mediate Ca(2+)-dependent intercellular adhesion. They are thought to be essential for the control of morphogenetic processes, including myogenesis. Here we report the identification and characterization of the cDNA of another member of the cadherin family, M-cadherin (M for muscle), from differentiating muscle cells. The longest open reading frame of the cDNAs isolated contains almost the entire coding region of the mature M-cadherin as determined by sequence homology to the known cadherins. M-cadherin mRNA is present at low levels in myoblasts and is upregulated in myotube-forming cells. In mouse L cells (fibroblasts), M-cadherin mRNA is undetectable. This expression pattern indicates that M-cadherin is part of the myogenic program and may provide a trigger for terminal muscle differentiation.