X-interface is not the explanation for the slow disassembly of N-cadherin dimers in the apo state

Nagamani Vunnam, Susan Pedigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In spite of structural similarities Epithelial- (E-) and Neural- (N-) cadherins are expressed at two types of synapses and differ significantly in dimer disassembly kinetics. Recent studies suggested that the formation of an X-dimer intermediate in E-cadherin is the key requirement for rapid disassembly of the adhesive dimer (Harrison et al., Nat Struct Mol Biol 2010;17:348-357 and Hong et al., J Cell Biol 2011;192:1073-1083). The X-interface in E-cadherin involves three noncovalent interactions, none of which is conserved in N-cadherin. Dimer disassembly is slow at low calcium concentration in N-cadherin, which may be due to the differences in the X-interface residues. To investigate the origin of the slow disassembly kinetics we introduced three point mutations into N-cadherin to provide the opportunity for the formation of X-interface interactions. Spectroscopic studies showed that the triple mutation did not affect the stability or the calciumbinding affinity of the X-enabled N-cadherin mutant. Analytical size exclusion chromatography was used to assay for the effect of the mutation on the rate of dimer disassembly. Contrary to our expectation, the disassembly of dimers of the X-enabled N-cadherin mutant was as slow as seen for wild-type N-cadherin in the apo-state. Thus, the differences in the X-interface residues are not the origin of slow disassembly kinetics of N-cadherin in the apo-state. Published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1014
Number of pages9
JournalProtein Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Analytical SEC
  • Calcium binding
  • Strand-crossover dimmer


Dive into the research topics of 'X-interface is not the explanation for the slow disassembly of N-cadherin dimers in the apo state'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this