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The functional roles of T-cadherin in mammalian biology

1 College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
2 Comparative Genomics Centre, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
3 Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
4 Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
5 Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation and School of Biomedical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane. Australia

Topical Section: Cells Signalling and Signal Transduction

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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