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R-cadherin is a member of the classical cadherins. Though much is known about E-cadherin in adherens junction formation in epithelial cells, the role of R-cadherin in epithelial cells remains elusive. This study examines regulation of R-cadherin adherens junctions by the small GTPase Rho and its downstream effectors in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, MDA-MB-231 cells stably expressing the N-terminus of c-Cbl, and MCF10A normal breast epithelial cells. We find that the small GTPase Rho regulates R-cadherin adherens junction formation via Dia1 (also known as p140mDia) and profilin-1-mediated signaling pathway. The role played by Rho in regulating R-cadherin is underscored by the fact that constitutively active RhoA(Q63L) induces R-cadherin junction formation in MDA-MB-231 cells. Importantly, R-cadherin adherens junction formation facilitates a mesenchymal to epithelial-like transition in MDA-MB-231 cells. Additionally, our data suggest an inverse relationship between EGFR signaling and R-cadherin adherens junction formation. Taken together, results from this study indicate that R-cadherin is a critical regulator of epithelial phenotype. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Citation

Tabetha M Bonacci, Dianne S Hirsch, Yi Shen, Milos Dokmanovic, Wen Jin Wu. Small GTPase Rho regulates R-cadherin through Dia1/profilin-1. Cellular signalling. 2012 Nov;24(11):2102-10

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PMID: 22820501

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