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Cytoskeleton/Cell Adhesion Molecules

Classical cadherin adhesion molecules are fundamental determinants of tissue organization in both health and disease. Recent advances in understanding the molecular and cellular basis of cadherin function have revealed that these adhesion molecules serve as molecular couplers, linking cell surface adhesion and recognition to both the actin cytoskeleton and cell signalling pathways. Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are a subset of cell adhesion proteins located on the cell surface involved in binding with other cells or with the extracellular matrix (ECM) in the process called cell adhesion. In essence, cell adhesion molecules help cells stick to each other and to their surroundings. Cell adhesion is a crucial component in maintaining tissue structure and function.
The variety in CAMs leads to diverse functionality of these proteins in the biological setting. One of the CAMS that are particularly important in the lymphocyte homing are known as addressins. Lymphocyte homing is a key process occurring in a strong immune system. It controls the process of circulating lymphocytes adhering to particular regions and organs of the body.The process is highly regulated by cell adhesion molecules, particularly, the addressin also known as MADCAM1. This antigen is known for its role in tissue-specific adhesion of lymphocytes to high endothelium venules.Through these interactions they play a crucial role in orchestrating circulating lymphocytes.CAM function in cancer metastasis, inflammation, and thrombosis makes it a viable therapeutic target that is currently being considered. For example, they block the metastatic cancer cells' ability to extravasate and home to secondary sites. 

References:

1.Reuhl KR et al.Neurotoxicology. 1994 Spring;15(1):133-45.