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      Spatial and Mechanical Aspects of Signal Transduction in the Cell Membrane

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      Springer International Publishing

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          Notch Signaling: Cell Fate Control and Signal Integration in Development

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            alpha-Catenin as a tension transducer that induces adherens junction development.

            Adherens junctions (AJs), which are organized by adhesion proteins and the underlying actin cytoskeleton, probably sense pulling forces from adjacent cells and modulate opposing forces to maintain tissue integrity, but the regulatory mechanism remains unknown at the molecular level. Although the possibility that alpha-catenin acts as a direct linker between the membrane and the actin cytoskeleton for AJ formation and function has been minimized, here we show that alpha-catenin recruits vinculin, another main actin-binding protein of AJs, through force-dependent changes in alpha-catenin conformation. We identified regions in the alpha-catenin molecule that are required for its force-dependent binding of vinculin by introducing mutant alpha-catenin into cells and using in vitro binding assays. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis for alpha-catenin mobility and the existence of an antibody recognizing alpha-catenin in a force-dependent manner further supported the notion that alpha-catenin is a tension transducer that translates mechanical stimuli into a chemical response, resulting in AJ development.
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              Paradigm shift of the plasma membrane concept from the two-dimensional continuum fluid to the partitioned fluid: high-speed single-molecule tracking of membrane molecules.

              Recent advancements in single-molecule tracking methods with nanometer-level precision now allow researchers to observe the movement, recruitment, and activation of single molecules in the plasma membrane in living cells. In particular, on the basis of the observations by high-speed single-particle tracking at a frame rate of 40,000 frames s(1), the partitioning of the fluid plasma membrane into submicron compartments throughout the cell membrane and the hop diffusion of virtually all the molecules have been proposed. This could explain why the diffusion coefficients in the plasma membrane are considerably smaller than those in artificial membranes, and why the diffusion coefficient is reduced upon molecular complex formation (oligomerization-induced trapping). In this review, we first describe the high-speed single-molecule tracking methods, and then we critically review a new model of a partitioned fluid plasma membrane and the involvement of the actin-based membrane-skeleton "fences" and anchored-transmembrane protein "pickets" in the formation of compartment boundaries.
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                Author and book information

                Book
                978-3-030-00628-0
                978-3-030-00630-3
                2018
                10.1007/978-3-030-00630-3
                Book Chapter
                2018
                December 31 2018
                : 537-560
                10.1007/978-3-030-00630-3_19

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