Original Article

Cell Adhesion Molecules and Cancer

Fatemeh Koohpeima, Mohammad Javad Mokhtari , Hojjat Naderi- Meshkin, Hadi Mohammadi

Fatemeh Koohpeima
Department of Operative Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Mohammad Javad Mokhtari
Department of Biology, Zarghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Zarghan, Iran. Email: mj.mokhtari@gmail.com

Hojjat Naderi- Meshkin
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine Research Department, ACECR-Khorasan Razavi branch, Mashhad, Iran

Hadi Mohammadi
Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah-Iran
Online First: October 02, 2015 | Cite this Article
Koohpeima, F., Mokhtari, M., Naderi- Meshkin, H., Mohammadi, H. 2015. Cell Adhesion Molecules and Cancer. The Cancer Press 1(1): 19-23. DOI:10.15562/tcp.6


Theodor Boveri in 1914 recognized the significance of changes in the adhesion of tumor cells to the development of cancer. Cell adhesion is essential in all aspects of in verte-brate cells such as cell growth, cell migration and cell differentiation. The majority of adhesion molecules fall into one of four families: cadherins, integrins, immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) and selectins. The cadherins are a family of homophilic CAMs (cell adhesion moleculs), Ca2+ dependent. The most important members of cadherins are E-cadherins (epithelial), P-cadherins (placental) and N-cadherins (neural). Immunoglobu-lin superfamily CAMs (IgSF CAMs) are either homophilic or heterophilic and bind in-tegrins, growth factor receptors cadherins or different IgSF CAMs. The integrins are a family of heterophilic CAMs that bind IgSF CAMs or the extracellular matrix. The se-lectins are a family of heterophilic CAMs that bind fucosylated carbohydrates, e.g. mu-cins. They are calcium-dependent. The three family members are E-selectin (endothelial (, L-selectin (leukocyte) and P-selectin (platelet). Recent experimental results indicate that, as well as mediating intercellular and cell–matrix interactions, cell-adhesion mole-cules also directly modulate signal transduction. Changes in the expression or function of cell-adhesion molecules can therefore contribute to tumor progression via altering the adhesion status of the cell or affecting cell signaling. The ability to colonize a specific organ has been correlated with the preferential adhesion of the cancer cells to endotheli-al cells derived from the target organ. This review summarizes recent findings about role of adhesion molecules in the tumor progression.
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