Membrane fluctuations mediate lateral interaction between cadherin bonds

Journal article
(Original article)

Publication Details

Author(s): Fenz SF, Bihr T, Schmidt D, Merkel R, Seifert U, Sengupta K, Smith AS
Journal: Nature Physics
Publication year: 2017
Volume: 13
Journal issue: 9
Pages range: 906-913
ISSN: 1745-2473
Language: English


The integrity of living tissues is maintained by adhesion domains of trans-bonds formed between cadherin proteins residing on opposing membranes of neighbouring cells. These domains are stabilized by lateral cis-interactions between the cadherins on the same cell. However, the origin of cis-interactions remains perplexing since they are detected only in the context of trans-bonds. By combining experimental, analytical and computational approaches, we identify bending fluctuations of membranes as a source of long-range cis-interactions, and a regulator of trans-interactions. Specifically, nanometric membrane bending and fluctuations introduce cooperative effects that modulate the affinity and binding/unbinding rates for trans-dimerization, dramatically affecting the nucleation and growth of adhesion domains. Importantly, this regulation relies on physical principles and not on details of protein-protein interactions. These omnipresent fluctuations can thus act as a generic control mechanism in all types of cell adhesion, suggesting a hitherto unknown physiological role for recently identified active fluctuations of cellular membranes.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Bihr, Timo
Physics Underlying Life Science
Schmidt, Daniel
Physics Underlying Life Science
Smith, Ana-Suncana Prof. Dr.
Physics Underlying Life Science

Additional Organisation
Exzellenz-Cluster Engineering of Advanced Materials

External institutions with authors

Aix-Marseille University / Aix-Marseille Université
Forschungszentrum Jülich / Research Centre Jülich (FZJ)
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Universität Stuttgart

Research Fields

A3 Multiscale Modeling and Simulation
Exzellenz-Cluster Engineering of Advanced Materials

How to cite

Fenz, S.F., Bihr, T., Schmidt, D., Merkel, R., Seifert, U., Sengupta, K., & Smith, A.-S. (2017). Membrane fluctuations mediate lateral interaction between cadherin bonds. Nature Physics, 13(9), 906-913.

Fenz, Susanne F., et al. "Membrane fluctuations mediate lateral interaction between cadherin bonds." Nature Physics 13.9 (2017): 906-913.


Last updated on 2018-07-08 at 22:54