Adhesion molecules as therapeutic targets

  • Mark R. Nicolls
  • Rasa Tamosiuniene
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


The immunoglobulin supergene family (IgSF) cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are either homophilic or heterophilic proteins that bind either integrins or different IgSF CAMs. Proteins are classified into the IgSF if they possess a structural domain known as an Ig domain, which contain about 70–110 amino acids and are categorized into different types according to their size and function [1]. Members of this family with important adhesion function include CD2, CD48, the SIGLEC family (sialic acid binding Ig-like lectins such as CD22, CD83), intracellular adhesion molecules (ICAMs), vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM-1), platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM-1), neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAMs), L1-CAM and CHL-1. NCAMs, L1-CAM and CHL-1 are important proteins for neurological cell adhesion. Members of the IgSF are ligands for the integrins, and so these can be considered together conceptually with this class of CAMs. IgSF members have not been as extensively targeted as have integrin proteins, and the broad utility of these agents are largely undetermined. A summary of selected pre-clinical studies and clinical trials is presented in Table 1. Anti-ICAM therapy has proven neutral or possibly deleterious in a stroke trial [2]. Anti-CD2 therapy has shown efficacy against graft vs. host disease [3], but this is likely due to lymphocyte and natural killer cell depletion rather than anti-adhesion effects.


Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Islet Allograft Immune Synapse Integrin Antagonist Natural Killer Cell Depletion 
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

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark R. Nicolls
    • 1
  • Rasa Tamosiuniene
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine and Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineVeterans Administration Palo Alto, Stanford UniversityPalo AltoUSA

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