Distinct roles of cadherin-6 and E-cadherin in tubulogenesis and lumen formation.
SourceMolecular Biology of the Cell, 22, 12, (2011), pp. 2031-2041
Article / Letter to editor
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Cell Biology (UMC)
Molecular Biology of the Cell
SubjectNCMLS 5: Membrane transport and intracellular motility ONCOL 3: Translational research
Classic cadherins are important regulators of tissue morphogenesis. The predominant cadherin in epithelial cells, E-cadherin, has been extensively studied because of its critical role in normal epithelial development and carcinogenesis. Epithelial cells may also coexpress other cadherins, but their roles are less clear. The Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell line has been a popular mammalian model to investigate the role of E-cadherin in epithelial polarization and tubulogenesis. However, MDCK cells also express relatively high levels of cadherin-6, and it is unclear whether the functions of this cadherin are redundant to those of E-cadherin. We investigate the specific roles of both cadherins using a knockdown approach. Although we find that both cadherins are able to form adherens junctions at the basolateral surface, we show that they have specific and mutually exclusive roles in epithelial morphogenesis. Specifically, we find that cadherin-6 functions as an inhibitor of tubulogenesis, whereas E-cadherin is required for lumen formation. Ablation of cadherin-6 leads to the spontaneous formation of tubules, which depends on increased phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) activity. In contrast, loss of E-cadherin inhibits lumen formation by a mechanism independent of PI3K.
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