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The Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule NCAM2/OCAM/RNCAM, a Close Relative to NCAM

  • Nikolaj Kulahin
  • Peter S. WalmodEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 663)

Abstract

Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) constitute a large class of plasma membrane-anchored proteins that mediate attachment between neighboring cells and between cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM). However, CAMs are more than simple mediators of cell adhesion. The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is a well characterized, ubiquitously expressed CAM that is highly expressed in the nervous system. In addition to mediating cell adhesion, NCAM participates in a multitude of cellular events, including survival, migration, and differentiation of cells, outgrowth of neurites, and formation and plasticity of synapses. NCAM shares an overall sequence identity of ∼44% with the neural cell adhesion molecule 2 (NCAM2), a protein also known as olfactory cell adhesion molecule (OCAM) and Rb-8 neural cell adhesion molecule (RNCAM), and the region-for-region sequence homology between the two proteins suggests that they are transcribed from paralogous genes. However, very little is known about the function of NCAM2, although it originally was described more than 20 years ago. In this review, we summarize the known properties and functions of NCAM2 and describe some of the differences and similarities between NCAM and NCAM2.

Keywords

NCAM NCAM2 Neural cell adhesion molecule OCAM Olfactory system RNCAM 

List of Abbreviations

ATP

Adenosine 5′-triphosphate

CAM

Cell adhesion molecule

CHL1

Close homolog of L1

CNS

Central nervous system

ECM

Extracellular matrix

ERK

Extracellular signal-regulated kinase

FAK

Focal adhesion kinase

FGFR

Fibroblast growth factor receptor

Fn3

Fibronectin type 3

GPI

Glycosylphosphatidylinositol

Ig

Immunoglobulin

MAG

Myelin-associated glycoprotein

MCAM

Melanoma cell adhesion molecule

M/T-cell

Mitral and/or tufted cell

NCAM

Neural cell adhesion molecule

NQO1

NADPH: Quinone oxidoreductase1

OB

Olfactory bulb

OCAM

Olfactory cell adhesion molecule

OE

Olfactory epithelium

OR

Odorant receptor

OSN

Olfactory sensory neuron

PSA

Polysialic acid

RNCAM

Rb-8 neural cell adhesion molecule

RPTP

Receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase

SH3

Src-homology 3

STAT

Signal transducer and activator of transcription

VSN

Vomeronasal sensory neuron

Notes

Acknowledgments

The generous support by Carlsbergfondet, Beckett-Fonden and Augustinus Fonden is gratefully acknowledged. The authors would like to thank Janne Nielsen for helpful comments on the manuscript.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Protein Laboratory, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Copenhagen, Panum InstituteCopenhagenDenmark

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