Open Access
Microtubules and cadherins: a neglected partnership
Samantha J Stehbens1,Anna Akhmanova1,Alpha S Yap1
Division of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4072
DOI: 10.2741/3442 Volume 14 Issue 8, pp.3159-3167
Published: 01 January 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular engines that build and break epithelial junctions)

Classical cadherins are fundamental determinants of tissue organization both in health and disease. It has long been recognized that cadherins function in close cooperation with the cytoskeleton, particularly with actin. Less appreciated is the capacity for cadherins to also interact functionally and biochemically with microtubules and their associated proteins. In this review, we aim to highlight the potential for cooperativity between cadherins and microtubules. Cadherins can regulate the organization and dynamics of microtubules through mechanisms such as anchorage of minus ends and cortical capture of plus ends. Such cadherin-induced reorganization of microtubules may then affect cadherin biology by diverse processes that include directed vesicular traffic by microtubule-based motors and regulation of cortical signaling and organization. Ultimately, we hope this will stimulate fresh interest and research to understand a neglected partnership.

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Samantha J Stehbens, Anna Akhmanova, Alpha S Yap. Microtubules and cadherins: a neglected partnership. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2009. 14(8); 3159-3167.