The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
Several studies have reported loss or alteration of expression of E-cadherin in breast cancer and more recently changes in levels of expression of the catenins. We used immunofluorescence to examine E-cadherin, alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and p120ctn (formerly p120CAS) expression in 91 cases of invasive ductal carcinoma. As expected, all four proteins co-localize to the junctional regions of the cells. Although nuclear localization has been described for beta-catenin in colonic polyps, no examples were found in these breast cancer cases. We found that, although alteration is common in the catenins and E-cadherin, complete loss, as exemplified by E-cadherin in lobular carcinoma (where E-cadherin is frequently mutated), is rarely seen. In contrast, the catenin-related protein p120ctn shows an expression pattern that is significantly unrelated to the other catenins (or E-cadherin), including complete loss of expression in approximately 10% of the cases. No statistically significant correlations with traditional prognostic indicators were observed with any of these proteins. We conclude 1) that expression of E-cadherin and alpha- and beta-catenin are generally retained at the membrane although frequently reduced or altered, 2) that complete loss of p120ctn expression is seen in approximately 10% of the cases, and 3) that there is a significant correlation in the expression of E-cadherin and the catenins but no correlation between these molecules and p120ctn, suggesting an absence of coordinate regulation.
Cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion is perturbed in protein tyrosine kinase (PTK)-transformed cells. While cadherins themselves appear to be poor PTK substrates, their cytoplasmic binding partners, the Arm catenins, are excellent PTK substrates and therefore good candidates for mediating PTK-induced changes in cadherin behavior. These proteins, p120ctn, beta-catenin and plakoglobin, bind to the cytoplasmic region of classical cadherins and function to modulate adhesion and/or bridge cadherins to the actin cytoskeleton. In addition, as demonstrated recently for beta-catenin, these proteins also have crucial signaling roles that may or may not be related to their effects on cell-cell adhesion. Tyrosine phosphorylation of cadherin complexes is well documented and widely believed to modulate cell adhesiveness. The data to date, however, is largely correlative and the mechanism of action remains unresolved. In this review, we discuss the current literature and suggest models whereby tyrosine phosphorylation of Arm catenins contribute to regulation or perturbation of cadherin function.
We investigated the role of the cadherins 5 and 13 in the solute barrier formed by aortic endothelial cells in vitro. In confluent monolayers of bovine aortic endothelial cells, immunofluorescence with antibodies to the external domain of cadherin 5 (Mab 9H7) or to cadherin 13 (Mab Ec6C10) found staining for both cadherins at endothelial cell borders. Western blotting with an antibody to the characteristic cadherin cytoplasmic tail or with an antibody to the extracellular domain of cadherin 5 revealed a single 125 kD protein band. A second larger band was found at 130 kD with the anti-cadherin 13 Mab which was not recognized by an antibody to the cadherin cytoplasmic tail. A calcium switch strategy was used to investigate the involvement of these cadherins in the endothelial barrier. Changes in the permeability of small solutes in an endothelial cell column produced by a decrease in calcium concentration followed by a return to normal calcium, with or without antibody, were recorded. We found that anti-cadherin 5 IgG (10 micrograms/ml) interfered with the reforming of interendothelial junctions after restoration of calcium at every time point tested for a total of 45 min after restoration of calcium. The anti-cadherin 13 IgG (10 micrograms/ml) did not block reforming of the endothelial barrier in a similar manner. The presence of this antibody delayed only by 15 min the restoration of the normal barrier. Without calcium switch, addition of either monoclonal antibody (10 micrograms/ml) to the endothelial cell column had no effect on solute permeability. These results suggest that cadherin 5 in bovine aortic endothelial cells has a major functional role in forming the calcium-sensitive endothelial junction in vitro and may play an important role in the normal structure and function of the in vivo barrier.
Cadherins are calcium-binding transmembrane glycoproteins that are important mediators of cell-cell association. Here we describe a novel member of this gene family, zebrafish ventral neural cadherin (VN-cad). Multiple VN-cad transcripts are first detectable by Northern blots at 60% epiboly. In the developing neural tube, VN-cad RNA is first found in the neuroectoderm, directly above the notochord, and later was localized to the neural keel. At the 20-somite stage, VN-cad transcripts are confined to the ventral neural tube, otic vesicle, midbrain, and diencephelon. Transcription of VN-cad RNA continues in adult fish. The embryonic pattern of expression is not significantly disrupted in cyclops or no tail mutants, which lack the floor plate and notochord, respectively. Therefore, neither of these structures is absolutely required for VN-cad expression. The localized pattern of VN-cad expression suggests a possible role for this adhesion molecule in the initial formation and subsequent differentiation of the central nervous system.
p120cas (CAS) is a tyrosine kinase substrate whose phosphorylation has been implicated in cell transformation by Src and in ligand-induced signaling through the EGF, PDGF, and CSF-1 receptors. More recently, CAS has been shown to associate with E-cadherin and its cofactors (catenins), molecules that are involved in cell adhesion. Although both CAS and beta-catenin contain armadillo repeat domains (Arm domains), the amino acid identity between these proteins in this region is only 22%, and it is not yet clear whether CAS will emulate other catenins by associating with other members of the cadherin family. Here we report that in addition to binding E-cadherin, wild-type CAS associated with N-cadherin and P-cadherin. Transient transfection of cloned CAS isoforms into MDCK epithelial cells indicated that CAS1 and CAS2 isoforms are equally capable of binding to E-cadherin even though these cells preferentially express CAS2 isoforms. In addition, CAS colocalized with N-cadherin in NIH3T3 cells and analysis of CAS mutants in vivo indicated that the CAS-N-cadherin interaction requires an intact CAS Arm domain. The data suggest that CAS-cadherin interactions in general are dictated by the conserved armadillo repeats and are not heavily influenced by sequences added outside the Arm domain by alternative splicing. Interestingly, overexpression of CAS in NIH3T3 cells induced a striking morphological phenotype characterized by the presence of long dendrite-like processes. This branching phenotype was specific for CAS, since (i) overexpression of the structurally similar beta-catenin had little effect on cell morphology, and (ii) the branching was abolished by deletions in the CAS Arm domain. Our data indicate that, like other catenins, CAS is a cofactor for multiple members of the cadherin family. However, the dramatically distinct phenotype exhibited by fibroblasts overexpressing CAS, versus beta-catenin, support recent data suggesting that these catenins have fundamentally different and possibly opposing roles in cadherin complexes.
p120cas (CAS) is a protein tyrosine kinase substrate that associates directly with the cytoplasmic tail of the cell-cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin. CAS is thus part of a multimolecular complex that, along with other cadherin-binding proteins (catenins), mediates interactions between E-cadherin and the actin cytoskeleton. Down-regulation of E-cadherin expression and defects in catenin function have been implicated in tumor metastasis, but the role of CAS in these processes has not been addressed. Recently, the study of CAS was complicated when new anti-CAS antibodies revealed the presence of at least four putative CAS isoforms that appeared to vary in abundance between cell types. Here, we identify the four major isoforms expressed in murine fibroblasts, and we show that they are products of alternative splicing. Analysis of CAS isoforms in a variety of murine cell lines indicates that motile cells like fibroblasts and macrophages preferentially express CAS1 (i.e., CAS1A and CAS1B isoforms), and epithelial cells preferentially express CAS2 (i.e., CAS2A and CAS2B isoforms), whereas nonadherent cells (e.g., B cells, T cells, and myeloid cells) do not express detectable levels of CAS. Interestingly, CAS1 expression is dramatically up-regulated in a Src-transformed Madin-Darby canine kidney cell line, indicating that the pattern of isoform expression can be altered by cell transformation. Analysis of a variety of differentiated and metastatic human tumor cell lines reveals that CAS isoform expression in these cells is quite heterogeneous. Furthermore, several poorly differentiated cell lines fail to express particular isoforms that are typically observed in well-differentiated cell lines. These data raise the possibility that unbalanced expression of CAS isoforms in human carcinomas may influence cadherin function and contribute to malignant or metastatic cell phenotypes.
We investigated the role of cadherins in the solute barrier maintained by endothelial cells in vitro. Cell-column chromatographic measurement of endothelial barrier showed that reducing normal extracellular calcium from 1.2 to 0.12 mM increased endothelial permeability to 250% of baseline after 20 min. Restoring normal calcium restored the barrier within 15 min which remained stable for at least 60 min. We used sulfo-NHS-biotin and anti-cadherin antibodies to characterize endothelial proteins with possible roles in the maintenance of endothelial barrier. The non-specific probe sulfo-NHS-biotin identified at least ten endothelial cell surface proteins, with greatest labelling occurring at molecular weights of 125 and 145 kD. Six proteins, including the 125 and 145 kD proteins, associated with the cytoskeleton. Western blotting for the presence of classical cadherins containing the conserved cytoplasmic sequence CDPTAPPYDSLLVFDYEG detected two bands at 145 and 125 kD which associated with the cytoskeleton. Western blotting with an antibody, which recognizes FHLRAHAVDINGNQV, an extracellular homotypic binding region of N-cadherin, detects three bands. Of these three, one protein had a molecular weight of 125 kD and was associated with the cytoskeleton. Immunofluorescence with both N-cadherin and anti-peptide 1 antibodies found staining at endothelial cell borders. The utility of a newly developed cell-column calcium switch assay was tested by verifying the functional role of the previously described epithelial cadherin, uvomorulin, in epithelial barrier. We then applied this method to endothelial cell columns and found the N-cadherin antibody interfered with the reforming of interendothelial junctions. These results suggest that, as in epithelial cells, cadherins in bovine endothelial cells have a functional role in forming the calcium sensitive endothelial junction and may play an important role in the formation of normal barrier.
The tyrosine kinase substrate p120cas (CAS), which is structurally similar to the cell adhesion proteins beta-catenin and plakoglobin, was recently shown to associate with the E-cadherin-catenin cell adhesion complex. beta-catenin, plakoglobin, and CAS all have an Arm domain that consists of 10 to 13 repeats of a 42-amino-acid motif originally described in the Drosophila Armadillo protein. To determine if the association of CAS with the cadherin cell adhesion machinery is similar to that of beta-catenin and plakoglobin, we examined the CAS-cadherin-catenin interactions in a number of cell lines and in the yeast two-hybrid system. In the prostate carcinoma cell line PC3, CAS associated normally with cadherin complexes despite the specific absence of alpha-catenin in these cells. However, in the colon carcinoma cell line SW480, which has negligible E-cadherin expression, CAS did not associate with beta-catenin, plakoglobin, or alpha-catenin, suggesting that E-cadherin is the protein which bridges CAS to the rest of the complex. In addition, CAS did not associate with the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumor suppressor protein in any of the cell lines analyzed. Interestingly, expression of the various CAS isoforms was quite heterogeneous in these tumor cell lines, and in the colon carcinoma cell line HCT116, which expresses normal levels of E-cadherin and the catenins, the CAS1 isoforms were completely absent. By using the yeast two-hybrid system, we confirmed the direct interaction between CAS and E-cadherin and determined that CAS Arm repeats 1 to 10 are necessary and sufficient for this interaction. Hence, like beta-catenin and plakoglobin, CAS interacts directly with E-cadherin in vivo; however, unlike beta-catenin and plakoglobin, CAS does not interact with APC or alpha-catenin.
p120cas is a tyrosine kinase substrate implicated in ligand-induced receptor signaling through the epidermal growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and colony-stimulating factor receptors and in cell transformation by Src. Here we report that p120 associates with a complex containing E-cadherin, alpha-catenin, beta-catenin, and plakoglobin. Furthermore, p120 precisely colocalizes with E-cadherin and catenins in vivo in both normal and Src-transformed MDCK cells. Unlike beta-catenin and plakoglobin, p120 has at least four isoforms which are differentially expressed in a variety of cell types, suggesting novel means of modulating cadherin activities in cells. In Src-transformed MDCK cells, p120, beta-catenin, and plakoglobin were heavily phosphorylated on tyrosine, but the physical associations between these proteins were not disrupted. Association of p120 with the cadherin machinery indicates that both Src and receptor tyrosine kinases cross talk with proteins important for cadherin-mediated cell adhesion. These results also strongly suggest a role for p120 in cell adhesion.
A novel protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) substrate, p120, has been previously implicated in ligand-induced signaling through the epidermal growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor and colony-stimulating factor 1 receptors, and in cell transformation by p60v-src. We have isolated a near full-length cDNA encoding murine p120. The encoded protein lacks significant homology with any reported protein, but it contains four copies of an imperfect 42 amino acid repeat that occurs 12.5 times in the protein encoded by Drosophila armadillo (arm), and its direct homologs, human plakoglobin (plak) and Xenopus laevis beta-catenin (beta-cat). The presence of this motif implies that p120 may share at least one aspect of its function with the arm protein and its homologs.