Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 36520419
Link to DOI – 10.1083/jcb.202108091
J Cell Biol 2023 Feb; 222(2):
α-Catenin couples the cadherin-catenin complex to the actin cytoskeleton. The mechanosensitive α-Catenin M region undergoes conformational changes upon application of force to recruit interaction partners. Here, we took advantage of the tension landscape in the Drosophila embryo to define three different states of α-Catenin mechanosensing in support of cell adhesion. Low-, medium-, and high-tension contacts showed a corresponding recruitment of Vinculin and Ajuba, which was dependent on the α-Catenin M region. In contrast, the Afadin homolog Canoe acts in parallel to α-Catenin at bicellular low- and medium-tension junctions but requires an interaction with α-Catenin for its tension-sensitive enrichment at high-tension tricellular junctions. Individual M region domains make complex contributions to cell adhesion through their impact on interaction partner recruitment, and redundancies with the function of Canoe. Our data argue that α-Catenin and its interaction partners are part of a cooperative and partially redundant mechanoresponsive network that supports AJs remodeling during morphogenesis.