p120-ctn: A nexus for contextual signaling via Rho GTPases

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145 Scopus citations


p120 catenin (p120) is the prototypic member of a subfamily of armadillo repeat domain proteins involved in intercellular adhesion. Recent evidence indicates that p120 associates with classical cadherins and regulates their stability. Ectopic p120 expression results in a variety of morphological effects, and promotes cell migration. There is now strong evidence that p120 acts, at least in part, through regulation of Rho GTPases. The data suggest that p120 may act as a signaling nexus, conveying messages from the cellular micro- and macro-environment to the cell's interior. By regulating Rho GTPases in a context-dependent manner p120 can exert profound effects on cellular responses from synaptic plasticity to vesicle trafficking, as well as regulate the motile vs. sessile, and possibly the proliferative vs. quiescent phenotype of epithelial cells. Here, we review the new evidence on the relationship of p120 to Rho GTPases, and discuss potential roles for the p120-Rho connection in normal and malignant cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-46
Number of pages13
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Cadherin
  • Cell adhesion
  • Cell motility
  • Cognition
  • Microenvironment
  • Rac1
  • RhoA
  • p120

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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