Cell Adhesion Molecules

Part of the Molecular Pathology Library book series (MPLB, volume 2)


Cell adhesion molecules, also termed cell adhesion receptors, are one of three classes of macromolecules – along with extracellular matrix molecules and adhesion plaque proteins – that mediate cell adhesion, an activity which is critical for the commencement and maintenance of the three-dimensional structure and normal function of tissues.1,2 Cell adhesion molecules are predominantly transmembrane glycoproteins that mediate binding to extracellular matrix molecules or to associated receptors on other cells, in a manner that determines the specificity of cell–cell or cell–extracellular matrix interactions.1 There are five families of adhesion receptors – integrins, cadherins, immunoglobulin cell adhesion molecules (Ig CAMs), selectins, and CD44.1,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Complexes formed by cell adhesion receptors are not static, but are dynamic units capable of obtai-ning and incorporating extracellular environmental signals, and are indeed the foundation of two-way signaling between the cell and its external environment.1,10 These cell adhesion molecule families are also involved with signaling between the interior and exterior of the cell, and as such are important in cell growth, proliferation, spatial organization, motility, migration, signaling, differentiation, apoptosis, and gene transcription in normal physiological growth and development as well as in pathological conditions such as inflammation and wound healing.5,9


Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Cell Adhesion Molecule Focal Adhesion Kinase Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Extracellular Matrix Molecule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at TylerTylerUSA
  2. 2.Pathology and Laboratory MedicineWeill Medical College of Cornell UniversityNew YorkUSA

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