MICHAEL KUHL AND DORIS WEDLICH Department of Biochemistry, University of Ulm, 0-89081Ulm, Germany. Key words: Cadherin, Catenin, wnt Signalling, cells of different fates (Townes and Holtfreter, 1955). Axis formation, Cell movement, Com- Today, the molecular basis of this process is explained by cadherin function. The amphibian embryo appears munity effect again as the most promising system for gaining insight INTRODUCTION into the molecular interaction between cellular adheCadherins form a superfamily of transmembrane sion and the differentiation of dorsal structures. Sigglycoproteins that are responsible for Ca2+-dependent naling pathways activated by molecules of the wnt cell-cell adhesion. Initially identified in vertebrates, family, which represent the vertebrate homologs of the cadherins have recently also been observed in inverte- segment polarity gene wingless in Drosophila, are coubrates, e.g., Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans pled to the cadherin adhesion system by sharing a com(Sano et al., 1993; Oda et al., 1994). This supports the mon mediator protein, P-catenin (Peifer et al., 1993; idea of cadherins as an evolutionarily conserved adhe- Gumbiner, 1995). Both wnt signaling and cadherinsion principle (Pouliot, 1992; Grunwald, 1993). De- mediated adhesion have been successfully investigated pending on the conserved sequence motifs, the follow- in Xenopus embryos, which offer experimental aping
Developmental Dynamics – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1996
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