Journal of cell science. Supplement

Catenins as mediators of the cytoplasmic functions of cadherins.

PMID 8144692


The catenins are polypeptides that bind to the conserved cytoplasmic tail of cadherins and are required for cadherin function. alpha-Catenin is related to vinculin and seems to be required for the interaction of cadherins with the actin cytoskeleton. beta-Catenin is homologous to armadillo, a segment polarity gene in Drosophila that participates in developmental signaling. Recent findings indicate that beta-catenin also participates in developmental signaling and embryonic patterning in Xenopus laevis. At least a portion of the electrophoretic band migrating at the position of gamma-catenin consists of plakoglobin, a desmosomal and zonula adherens protein that has high sequence similarity to beta-catenin and armadillo. The catenins may be involved in the regulation of cadherin function during tissue morphogenesis and tumorigenesis.