Cell Adhesion Molecules
Cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) are a large family of transmembrane proteins that link the cytoskeleton and intracellular signaling cascades with the extracellular environment. Cell adhesion molecules have roles in cell proliferation, differentiation, motility, trafficking, apoptosis and tissue architecture, and their dysregulation is common in cancer.
There are four major families of cell adhesion molecules:
- Immunoglobulin Superfamily (IgSF) CAMs - bind to integrins and members of this family include neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) and intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM).
- Selectins - Ca2+-dependent CAMs that bind fucosylated carbohydrates (e.g. mucins). There are three types of selectins, E-selectin (endothelial), L-selectin (leukocyte) and P-selectin (platelet).
- Integrins - bind IgSFs and extracellular matrix ligands (e.g. collagen, laminin) and regulate focal adhesion kinase and Src family kinase activity.
- Cadherins - Ca2+-dependent CAMs that are important in cell-cell junctions. Examples include E-cadherin (endothelial), P-cadherin (placental) and N-cadherin (neural).
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Literature for Cell Adhesion Molecules
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