Since the identification of cadherins and the publication of the first crystal structures, the mechanism of cadherin adhesion, and the underlying structural basis have been studied with a number of different experimental techniques, different classical cadherin subtypes, and cadherin fragments. Earlier studies based on biophysical measurements and structure determinations resulted in seemingly contradictory findings regarding cadherin adhesion. However, recent experimental data increasingly reveal parallels between structures, solution binding data, and adhesion-based biophysical measurements that are beginning to both reconcile apparent differences and generate a more comprehensive model of cadherin-mediated cell adhesion. This chapter summarizes the functional, structural, and biophysical findings relevant to cadherin junction assembly and adhesion. We emphasize emerging parallels between findings obtained with different experimental approaches. Although none of the current models accounts for all of the available experimental and structural data, this chapter discusses possible origins of apparent discrepancies, highlights remaining gaps in current knowledge, and proposes challenges for further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-88
Number of pages26
JournalSubcellular Biochemistry
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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