Cadherin:catenin complex: a novel regulator of vascular smooth muscle cell behaviour

S J George, C A Beeching

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Citations (SciVal)


Dysfunctional vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) behaviour contributes to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and restenosis. Increased rates of VSMC apoptosis are thought to lead to thinning of the fibrous atherosclerotic plaque and thereby instability, while migration of VSMCs to the intima, and inappropriate VSMC proliferation, contribute to intimal thickening that occurs in atherosclerosis and restenosis. Studies, mainly in cancer and neuronal cells, have demonstrated that cell-cell adhesion by the cadherin:catenin complex modulates apoptosis, migration and proliferation. In contrast, until recently the involvement of this complex in the regulation of VSMC behaviour was relatively unstudied. In this review, evidence for the regulation of VSMC apoptosis, migration and proliferation by the cadherin:catenin complex will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • Apoptosis
  • Atherosclerosis/metabolism
  • Cadherins/analysis
  • Catenins/analysis
  • Cell Movement
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular/cytology
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle/chemistry


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