FunctionAssociates with the cytoplasmic domain of a variety of cadherins. The association of catenins to cadherins produces a complex which is linked to the actin filament network, and which seems to be of primary importance for cadherins cell-adhesion properties. Can associate with both E- and N-cadherins. Originally believed to be a stable component of E-cadherin/catenin adhesion complexes and to mediate the linkage of cadherins to the actin cytoskeleton at adherens junctions. In contrast, cortical actin was found to be much more dynamic than E-cadherin/catenin complexes and CTNNA1 was shown not to bind to F-actin when assembled in the complex suggesting a different linkage between actin and adherens junctions components. The homodimeric form may regulate actin filament assembly and inhibit actin branching by competing with the Arp2/3 complex for binding to actin filaments. May play a crucial role in cell differentiation.
Tissue specificityExpressed ubiquitously in normal tissues.
Sequence similaritiesBelongs to the vinculin/alpha-catenin family.
Cellular localizationCell membrane and Cytoplasm > cytoskeleton. Cell junction > adherens junction. Cell membrane. Cell junction. Found at cell-cell boundaries and probably at cell-matrix boundaries.