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Integral transmembrane proteins that form homodimers that are calcium-sensitive links between cells at adherens junctions although they may occasionally form heterodimers. Cadherin-1 (E-cadherin, uvomorulin, CD324, 882 aa) is found in epithelia, cadherin-2 (N-cadherin, 906 aa) in neural cells, and cadherin-3 (CDH3, P-cadherin, 829 aa) in placenta. Cadherin-4 (916 aa) is retinal cadherin and cadherin-5 is vascular endotherial cadherin (784 aa). Many other tissue-specific cadherins are known and the cadherin superfamily includes cadherins, protocadherins, desmogleins, and desmocollins. Cell adhesion defects caused by mutation in cadherin-1 are associated with many carcinomas and cadherin-1 interacts with the catenins. Defects in CDH3 are the cause of hypotrichosis with juvenile macular dystrophy and ectodermal dysplasia with ectrodactyly and macular dystrophy.

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