Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 11–22

Cell adhesion molecules of the immunoglobulin supergene family and their role in malignant transformation and progression to metastatic disease

  • Judith P. Johnson

DOI: 10.1007/BF00046840

Cite this article as:
Johnson, J.P. Cancer Metast Rev (1991) 10: 11. doi:10.1007/BF00046840


Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) of the immunoglobulin supergene family may play important roles in tumorigenesis and the development of metastatic disease. In a variety of human malignancies, tumor progression has been observed to be associated with changes in CAM expression. An early event in colorectal tumorigenesis appears to be the down regulation of a normally expressed CAM, DCC. Over-expression of a second CAM, carcinoembryonic antigen, is associated with colorectal tumors which have a high risk for metastasis development. Several tumors, including Wilms tumors and neuroblastoma, have been found to express a developmentally regulated form of NCAM which inhibits a variety of cell-cell interactions. Malignant cells not only show aberrations in the expression of their CAMS and thus their normal cell-cell interactions, but establish new adhesive interactions. The development of metastatic potential in cutaneous melanoma is associated with the de novo expression of two CAMs, one of which is ICAM-1, a molecule mediating adhesion between the tumor cells and leukocytes.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith P. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for ImmunologyMunich 2Germany