About CDH / Cadherin:
A cadherin, or CDH, is a type of cell adhesion molecule that facilitates the formation of adherens junctions. These junctions play a critical role in enabling cells to bind to one another, hence CDH is also an important element in this process. There are numerous classes of cadherin molecules. Although there are believed to be over 100 types of CDHs, they are usually split into four groups: classical, protocadherins, desmosomal and unconventional
CDHs act as ligands and receptors for other molecules. They assist in the development of cells, specifically the separation of tissue layers and cellular migration. Different cadherins are required for different functions, hence they are present at varying stages of cell development.
Following development, CDHs help to maintain tissue and cell structure, as well as playing a role in facilitating cellular movement.
Adhesions between two cells are mediated by extracellular cadherin domains, while intracellular cytoplasmic tails are facilitated by multiple adaptors and signaling proteins. Collectively, these adaptors and signaling proteins are known as the cadherin adhesome.
Cadherins on one cell interact with cadherins on different cells to facilitate adhesions.
Synthesized as polypeptides, cadherins are modified numerous times before they impact on cellular migration and adhesions. Typically, these peptides are around 720–750 amino acids long. Every CDH has a transmembrane component, which is comprised of a single chain glycoprotein repeats, and a small C-terminal cytoplasmic component, while the remaining protein is extra-cellular. In order to function, CDHs form two identical subunits: homodimers, which facilitate cell to cell adhesions.