Cell adhesion is the process by which cells make contacts with each other or with their extracellular matrix through specialized macromolecular complexes. Intercellular adhesion can be mediated by adherens junctions, tight junctions and desmosomes, whereas cells can interact with extracellular matrix molecules through focal adhesions.
The actin cytoskeleton consists of filamentous actin, globular actin molecules, and various actin-binding regulatory and accessory proteins, which form several types of actin cytoskeletal structures. Actin filaments link to focal adhesions at cell–extracellular matrix contact sites and to adherens junctions at cell–cell contact sites.
The Chinthalapudi lab is interested in understanding the fundamental molecular mechanisms of the linkage between cell adhesion molecules and the actomyosin cytoskeleton.