Author(s): Leerberg JM, Yap AS
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Abstract Cell adhesion junctions characteristically arise from the cooperative integration of adhesion receptors, cell signalling pathways and the cytoskeleton. This is exemplified by cell-cell interactions mediated by classical cadherin adhesion receptors. These junctions are sites where cadherin adhesion systems functionally couple to the dynamic actin cytoskeleton, a process that entails physical interactions with many actin regulators and regulation by cell signalling pathways. Such integration implies a potential role for molecules that may stand at the interface between adhesion, signalling and the cytoskeleton. One such candidate is the cortical scaffolding protein, vinculin, which is a component of both cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions. While its contribution to integrin-based adhesions has been extensively studied, less is known about how vinculin contributes to cell-cell adhesions. A major recent advance has come with the realisation that cadherin adhesions are active mechanical structures, where cadherin serves as part of a mechanotransduction pathway by which junctions sense and elicit cellular responses to mechanical stimuli. Vinculin has emerged as an important element in cadherin mechanotransduction, a perspective that illuminates its role in cell-cell interactions. We now review its role as a cortical scaffold and its role in cadherin mechanotransduction.
This article was published in Protoplasma
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science