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The functional roles of T-cadherin in mammalian biology

  • Received: 21 November 2016 Accepted: 26 January 2017 Published: 13 February 2017
  • T-cadherin is a cadherin and cell adhesion molecule that is anchored to the cell surface membrane through a glycosylphosphatidylinositol moiety. T-cadherin lacks a transmembrane and cytoskeletal domain, suggesting that it must interact with other membrane-bound molecules to elicit cellular signaling to modulate normal cellular functions, and alternatively its absence can be a factor in promoting neoplasia. Moreover, apart from binding to itself it can sequester adiponectin to the cell surface. Consistent with these observations, recent research has expanded the scope of T-cadherin’s role in cancer, neuronal function, metabolism and cardiovascular disease. In this context, we highlight the experimental and genomic evidence that links T-cadherin with these diseases. In particular, we discuss how T-cadherin homophilic and heterophilic interactions impact on signaling pathways and cellular behavior.

    Citation: Jade Sternberg, Miriam Wankell, V. Nathan Subramaniam, Lionel W. Hebbard. The functional roles of T-cadherin in mammalian biology[J]. AIMS Molecular Science, 2017, 4(1): 62-81. doi: 10.3934/molsci.2017.1.62

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  • T-cadherin is a cadherin and cell adhesion molecule that is anchored to the cell surface membrane through a glycosylphosphatidylinositol moiety. T-cadherin lacks a transmembrane and cytoskeletal domain, suggesting that it must interact with other membrane-bound molecules to elicit cellular signaling to modulate normal cellular functions, and alternatively its absence can be a factor in promoting neoplasia. Moreover, apart from binding to itself it can sequester adiponectin to the cell surface. Consistent with these observations, recent research has expanded the scope of T-cadherin’s role in cancer, neuronal function, metabolism and cardiovascular disease. In this context, we highlight the experimental and genomic evidence that links T-cadherin with these diseases. In particular, we discuss how T-cadherin homophilic and heterophilic interactions impact on signaling pathways and cellular behavior.

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