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Uvomorulin is a transmembrane glycoprotein of 120 kDa identified originally involved in the compaction of mouse preimplantation embryos (Kemler et al, 1977; Hyafil et al, 1981). Cloning of the cDNA (Nagafuchi et al, 1987; Ringwald et al, 1987) has shown that Uvomorulin is a member of a family of calcium-dependent cell adhesion molecules, the cadherins (Takeichi, 1988; Kemler et al, 1989). Uvomorulin is known also as E-cadherin [epithelial cadherin].

Subsequent studies have shown that the protein has been shown to be involved in the generation and maintenance of epithelial cell layers during development and in adult tissues (Vestweber and Kemler, 1985; Behrens et al, 1985; Gumbiner et al, 1988).

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