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In this paper we examine the 4-dimensional effective theory for the light Kaluza-Klein (KK) modes. Our main interest is in the interaction terms. We point out that the contribution of the heavy KK modes is generally needed in order to reproduce the correct predictions for the observable quantities involving the light modes. As an example we study in some detail a 6-dimensional Einstein-Maxwell theory coupled to a charged scalar and fermions. In this case the contribution of the heavy KK modes are geometrically interpreted as the deformation of the internal space. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.