Author(s): Perret E, Benoliel AM, Nassoy P, Pierres A, Delmas V,
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Abstract E-cadherin is the predominant adhesion molecule of epithelia. The interaction between extracellular segments of E-cadherin in the membrane of opposing cells is homophilic and calcium dependent. Whereas it is widely accepted that the specificity of the adhesive interaction is localized to the N-terminal domain, the kinetics of the recognition process are unknown. We report the first quantitative data describing the dissociation kinetics of individual E-cadherin interactions. Aggregation assays indicate that the two outermost domains of E-cadherin (E/EC1-2) retain biological activity when chemically immobilized on glass beads. Cadherin fragment trans-interaction was analysed using a flow chamber technique. Transient tethers had first-order kinetics, suggesting a unimolecular interaction. The unstressed lifetime of individual E-cadherin interactions was as brief as 2 s. A fast off rate and the low tensile strength of the E-cadherin bond may be necessary to support the high selectivity and plasticity of epithelial cell interactions.
This article was published in EMBO J
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology