Allosteric regulation of E-cadherin adhesion

Nitesh Shashikanth, Yuliya I. Petrova, Seongjin Park, Jillian Chekan, Stephanie Maiden, Martha Spano, Taekjip Ha, Barry M. Gumbiner, Deborah E. Leckband

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cadherins are transmembrane adhesion proteins that maintainintercellular cohesion in all tissues, and their rapid regulationis essential for organized tissue remodeling. Despite some evidence that cadherin adhesion might be allosterically regulated, testing of this has been hindered by the difficulty of quantifyingaltered E-cadherin binding affinity caused by perturbationsoutside the ectodomain binding site. Here, measured kinetics of cadherin-mediated intercellular adhesion demonstratedquantitatively that treatment with activating, anti-Ecadherinantibodies or the dephosphorylation of a cytoplasmic binding partner, p120ctn, increased the homophilic binding affinity of E-cadherin. Results obtained with Colo 205 cells, which express inactive E-cadherin and do not aggregate, demonstratedthat four treatments, which induced Colo 205 aggregationand p120ctn dephosphorylation, triggered quantitatively similar increases in E-cadherin affinity. Several processes can alter cell aggregation, but these results directly demonstratedthe allosteric regulation of cell surface E-cadherin by p120ctndephosphorylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21749-21761
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 28 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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