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New research from the Department of Biological Sciences Reveals that cadherin based adherens junctions can promote and spatially guide integrin activation.
Researchers Rania Hadjisavva and Ouranio Anastasiou from the Cell and Developmental Biology Laboratory uncover a novel mechanism of cross regulation between the two major adhesion systems found in vertebrates. In their cover article in Cell Reports they show that cadherin clustering stimulates and spatially guides integrin activation. Adherens junction (AJ)-associated integrin activation depends on locally generated tension and does not require extracellular matrix ligands. It leads to the creation of primed integrin clusters, which spatially determine where focal adhesions will form if ligands are present and where ligands will be deposited. AJs that display integrin activation are targeted by microtubules facilitating their disassembly via caveolin-based endocytosis, showing that integrin activation impacts the stability of the core cadherin complex. Thus, the interplay between cadherins and integrins is more intimate than what was once believed and is rooted in the capacity of active integrins to be stabilized via AJ-generated tension. This work was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation (Project: INFRASTRUCTURES/1216/0060 ).
The full article can be found here