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Solution Structure of the Epithelial Cadherin Domain Responsible for Selective Cell Adhesion

Michael Overduin, Timothy S. Harvey, Stefan Bagby, Kit I. Tong, Patrick Yau, Masatoshi Takeichi and Mitsuhiko Ikura
Science
New Series, Vol. 267, No. 5196 (Jan. 20, 1995), pp. 386-389
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2886249
Page Count: 4
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Solution Structure of the Epithelial Cadherin Domain Responsible for Selective Cell Adhesion
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Abstract

Cadherins are calcium-dependent cell adhesion molecules containing extracellular repeats of approximately 110 amino acids. The three-dimensional structure of the aminoterminal repeat of mouse epithelial cadherin was determined by multidimensional heteronuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The calcium ion was bound by a short α helix and by loops at one end of the seven-stranded β-barrel structure. An exposed concave face is in a position to provide homophilic binding specificity and was also sensitive to calcium ligation. Unexpected structural similarities with the immunoglobulin fold suggest an evolutionary relation between calcium-dependent and calcium-independent cell adhesion molecules.

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