Cadherins (Calcium dependant adhesion molecules) are a class of type-1 transmembrane proteins. They play important roles in cell adhesion, ensuring that cells within tissues are bound together. They are dependent on calcium (Ca2+) ions to function, hence their name.
The cadherin superfamily includes cadherins, protocadherins, desmogleins, and desmocollins, and more.In structure, they share cadherin repeats, which are the extracellular Ca2+-binding domains. There are multiple classes of cadherin molecule, each designated with a prefix (generally noting the type of tissue with which it is associated). It has been observed that cells containing a specific cadherin subtype tend to cluster together to the exclusion of other types, both in cell culture and during development.
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