Rap1 GTPase Regulation of Adherens Junction Positioning and Cell Adhesion

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Science  15 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5558, pp. 1285-1288
DOI: 10.1126/science.1067549

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Cell-cell junctions are distributed evenly around the lateral circumference of cells within an epithelium. We find that the even distribution of adherens junctions is an active process that requires the small guanosine triphosphatase Rap1. Cells mutant forRap1 condensed their adherens junctions to one side of the cell. This disrupted normal epithelial cell behavior, and mutant cell clones dispersed into the surrounding wild-type tissue. Rap1 is enriched at adherens junctions, particularly between newly divided sister cells where it may reseal the adherens junction ring. The regulation of adherens junction positioning could play a role in cell mobility and cell division.

  • * Present address: Royal Society of New Zealand, 4 Hallswell Street, Wellington, New Zealand.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed at Wellcome/CRC Institute, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QR, UK. E-mail: nb117{at}

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