Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 21839846
Semin. Cell Dev. Biol. 2011 Oct;22(8):850-7
Cell-cell interactions play a key role in tissue homeostasis. Intercellular adhesions share the complex task of establishing and maintaining tissue architecture while allowing tissue growth, renewal and repair. In particular, adherens junctions (AJs) have been implicated in the formation of diverse tissues and organs like epitheliums, blood vessels or the central nervous system. At the cellular level, AJs are well known for their essential role in epithelial cell differentiation and baso-apical polarity. They also contribute to the control of cell polarity to promote neuronal morphogenesis, growth cone guidance and directed migration in a variety of cell types during embryonic development. AJs based on classical cadherin- and nectin-mediated cell-cell interactions control local membrane dynamics to polarize cell morphology and motility at the single cell level and to coordinate cell shape changes and motile behaviour at the tissue level. I review here the molecular mechanisms allowing control of polarized cell morphology and motility by AJs.