Crystal structure of the nonclassical cadherin-17 N-terminus and implications for its adhesive binding mechanism.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun, Volume 77, Issue Pt 3, p.85-94 (2021)


<p>The cadherin superfamily of calcium-dependent cell-adhesion proteins has over 100 members in the human genome. All members of the superfamily feature at least a pair of extracellular cadherin (EC) repeats with calcium-binding sites in the EC linker region. The EC repeats across family members form distinct complexes that mediate cellular adhesion. For instance, classical cadherins (five EC repeats) strand-swap their N-termini and exchange tryptophan residues in EC1, while the clustered protocadherins (six EC repeats) use an extended antiparallel `forearm handshake&#39; involving repeats EC1-EC4. The 7D-cadherins, cadherin-16 (CDH16) and cadherin-17 (CDH17), are the most similar to classical cadherins and have seven EC repeats, two of which are likely to have arisen from gene duplication of EC1-2 from a classical ancestor. However, CDH16 and CDH17 lack the EC1 tryptophan residue used by classical cadherins to mediate adhesion. The structure of human CDH17 EC1-2 presented here reveals features that are not seen in classical cadherins and that are incompatible with the EC1 strand-swap mechanism for adhesion. Analyses of crystal contacts, predicted glycosylation and disease-related mutations are presented along with sequence alignments suggesting that the novel features in the CDH17 EC1-2 structure are well conserved. These results hint at distinct adhesive properties for 7D-cadherins.</p>