Cadherins

Encyclopedia of Cancer (2012)

Definition

Cadherins are a family of cell adhesion receptor glycoproteins that are involved in the calcium-dependent cell-to-cell adhesion. E-, V-, and N-cadherins are distinct in immunological specificity and tissue distribution.

They promote cell adhesion via their homophilic binding interactions. Class of type-1 transmembrane proteins are important in cell adhesion. They are dependent on calcium (Ca2+) ions to function, hence their name.

Cadherins play an important role in regulation of morphogenesis. Cadherins inhibit invasiveness of tumor cells.

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