α-catenins are cadherin interacting proteins with homology to vinculin. Three α-catenin genes have been described including α1-catenin (αE-Catenin), α2-catenin (αN-catenin), and α3-catenin (αT-catenin). α1-catenin has 81% homology with α2-catenin and 60% homology with α3-catenin. These α-catenin isoforms may have similar roles since each binds cadherins. However, their expression patterns are both overlapping and distinct. α1-catenin was identified in epithelial cells, and is expressed in various cell types. α2-catenin is enriched in the nervous system, and α3-catenin is expressed highest in testis and heart. Phosphorylation may regulate the activity of α1-catenin, since tyrosine phosphorylation of Tyr-148 occurs during intercellular adhesion. This site is dephosphorylated by SHP2, which inhibits α1-catenin binding to β-catenin and translocation to the plasma membrane. Phosphorylation of α1-catenin at Tyr-148 may be important for inhibition of cell transformation, and dephosphorylation of this site may be important during SHP2-mediated cell transformation.
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*For more information, see UniProt Accession P35221
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*All molecular weights (MW) are confirmed by comparison to Bio-Rad Rainbow Markers and to western blot mobilities of known proteins with similar MW.
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