The E-Cadherin-catenin complex plays a critical role in epithelial cell-cell adhesion, polarization, and morphogenesis. Here, we have analyzed the mechanism of Drosophila E-Cadherin (DE-Cad) localization. Loss of function of the Drosophila exocyst components sec5, sec6, and sec15 in epithelial cells results in DE-Cad accumulation in an enlarged Rab11 recycling endosomal compartment and inhibits DE-Cad delivery to the membrane. Furthermore, Rab11 and Armadillo interact with the exocyst components Sec15 and Sec10, respectively. Our results support a model whereby the exocyst regulates DE-Cadherin trafficking, from recycling endosomes to sites on the epithelial cell membrane where Armadillo is located.
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