Medical Definition of catenin
: any of various intracellular, cytoplasmic proteins that mediate the adhesion of one cell to another by connecting the actin microfilaments of one cell's cytoskeleton to the transmembrane cadherins of another cell Vascular-endothelium cadherins are coupled intracellularly to catenins, a family of proteins that form signaling complexes with downstream kinases and phosphatases.—Ralph L. Nachman et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 18 Sept. 2008 ◆Specific catenins are designated with the prefixes alpha- (or α-), beta- (or β-), etc. Beta-catenin normally helps to form junctions with neighboring cells.—Ricki L. Rusting, Scientific American, June 2001
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