Learning Center

Cadherins: Structure and Function

The cadherin superfamily of cell-cell adhesion molecules plays a fundamental role in the development and organization of nearly all forms of multicellular life. The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) is pleased to present this series of striking animations detailing the molecular structure of the classic cadherins, and their function in cellular adhesion and recognition and tissue patterning. The animation and Flash interface were specially created for the CDB by Arkitek Studios.


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Right-click the link for the segment in your preferred file format (Windows Media Player or Quicktime) and select [Save As].

1. Introduction
2. Cadherin Molecular Structure and Function
3. Adherens Junctions and Tissue Morphogenesis
4. Cadherins in the Neural Network
5. Conclusion
To import the movie file into PowerPoint

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These animations provide a conceptual tour of cadherin molecules in epithelial cells and the neural network, based on the best current understanding of cadherin structure and function. While every effort has been made to create as realistic a representation of cellular and molecular mechanisms as possible, future advances in research and visualization technology may significantly alter the way we understand the world at these microscopic scales. Users are encouraged to view the animations as illustrations of concepts and processes, rather than photorealistic representations of molecular-level detail.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License (The Flash interface component is not covered under the Creative Commons deed.)