Tuning the kinetics of cadherin adhesion.
- Author(s): Sivasankar, Sanjeevi
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/jid.2013.229
Cadherins are Ca(2+)-dependent cell-cell adhesion proteins that maintain the structural integrity of the epidermis; their principle function is to resist mechanical force. This review summarizes the biophysical mechanisms by which classical cadherins tune adhesion and withstand mechanical stress. We first relate the structure of classical cadherins to their equilibrium binding properties. We then review the role of mechanical perturbations in tuning the kinetics of cadherin adhesion. In particular, we highlight recent studies that show that cadherins form three types of adhesive bonds: catch bonds, which become longer lived and lock in the presence of tensile force; slip bonds, which become shorter lived when pulled; and ideal bonds, which are insensitive to tugging.