Nectin-4 mutations causing ectodermal dysplasia with syndactyly perturb the rac1 pathway and the kinetics of adherens junction formation.
Defective nectin-1 and -4 have been implicated in ectodermal dysplasia (ED) syndromes with variably associated features including orofacial and limb defects. In particular, nectin-1 mutations cause cleft lip/palate ED (CLPED1; OMIM#225060), whereas defective nectin-4 is associated with ED-syndactyly syndrome (EDSS1; OMIM#613573). Although the broad phenotypic overlap suggests a common mode of action of nectin-1 and -4, little is known about the pathogenic mechanisms involved. We report the identification of, to our knowledge, a previously undescribed nectin-4 homozygous p.Val242Met missense mutation in a patient with EDSS1. We used patient skin biopsy and primary keratinocytes, as well as nectin-4 ectopic expression in epithelial cell lines, to characterize functional consequences of p.Val242Met and p.Thr185Met mutations, the latter previously identified in compound heterozygosity with a truncating mutation. We show that nectin-4-altered expression perturbs nectin-1 clustering at keratinocyte contact sites and delays, but does not impede cell-cell aggregation and cadherin recruitment at adherens junctions (AJs). Moreover, trans-interaction of nectin-1 and -4 induces the activation of Rac1, a member of the Rho family of small GTPases, and regulates E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion. These data outline a synergistic action of nectin-1 and -4 in the early steps of AJ formation and implicate this interaction in modulating the Rac1 signaling pathway.Lire l‘article