, Volume 128, Issue 1, pp 7-21
Date: 16 Apr 2011

Signaling mechanism of cell adhesion molecules in breast cancer metastasis: potential therapeutic targets

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Abstract

Metastasis is responsible for the majority of breast cancer-related deaths. The metastatic spread of cancer cells is a complicated process that requires considerable flexibility in the adhesive properties of both tumor cells and other interacting cells. Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are membrane receptors that mediate cell–cell and cell–matrix interactions, and are essential for transducing intracellular signals responsible for adhesion, migration, invasion, angiogensis, and organ-specific metastasis. This review will discuss the recent advances in our understanding on the biological functions, signaling mechanisms, and therapeutic potentials of important CAMs involved in breast cancer metastasis.