Study identifies two proteins necessary for epithelial cell-cell junctions

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Epithelial cells build specialized cell-cell junctions to separate two different compartments. Many of these cell-cell junctions depend on the actin cytoskeleton for their assembly and maintenance. Graduate student Hui-Chia Yu-Kemp and colleagues identified CRMP-1 and EVL as novel factors necessary for assembling actin in epithelial cells. If either factor is perturbed, then actin filaments are lost. Consequently, the epithelial sheet becomes perforated with holes because cell-cell adhesion is weakened, and the cells’ ability to close the holes is diminished. Yu-Kemp and colleagues propose that the integrity of epithelial sheets requires continuous actin assembly that is CRMP-1 and EVL dependent.

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Posted August 10, 2017.