Secret handshakes: cell–cell interactions and cellular mimics

Daniel J. Cohen, W. James Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Cell–cell junctions, acting as 'secret handshakes’, mediate cell–cell interactions and make multicellularity possible. Work over the previous century illuminated key players comprising these junctions including the cadherin superfamily, nectins, CAMs, connexins, notch/delta, lectins, and eph/Ephrins. Recent work has focused on elucidating how interactions between these complex and often contradictory cues can ultimately give rise to large-scale organization in tissues. This effort, in turn, has enabled bioengineering advances such as cell–mimetic interfaces that allow us to better probe junction biology and to develop new biomaterials. This review details exciting, recent developments in these areas as well as providing both historical context and a discussion of some topical challenges and opportunities for the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cell Biology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology


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