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Cellular adhesion is the binding of a cell to a surface, extracellular matrix or another cell using cell adhesion molecules such as selectins, integrins, and cadherins.

Contents

Process

Cell adhesion molecules involved in the process are first hydrolyzed by extracellular enzymes.

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Eukaryotes

Eukaryotic protozoans express multiple adhesion molecules. An example of a pathogenic protozoan is the malarial parasite (Plasmodium falciparum), which uses one adhesion molecule called the circumsporozoite protein to bind to liver cells, and another adhesion molecule called the merozoite surface protein to bind red blood cells. In human cells, which have many different types of adhesion molecules, the major classes are named integrins, Ig superfamily members, cadherins, and selectins. Each of these adhesion molecules has a different function and recognizes different ligands. Defects in cell adhesion are usually attributable to defects in expression of adhesion molecules.

Prokaryotes

Prokaryotes have adhesion molecules usually termed "adhesins". Adhesins may occur on pili (fimbriae), flagellae, or the cell surface. Adhesion of bacteria is the first step in colonization and regulates tropism (tissue- or cell-specific interactions).

Viruses

Viruses also have adhesion molecules required for viral binding to host cells. For example, influenza virus has a hemagglutinin on its surface that is required for recognition of the sugar sialic acid on host cell surface molecules. HIV has an adhesion molecule termed gp120 that binds to its ligand CD4, which is expressed on lymphocytes.

See also

References

(1) Gumbiner, B. M. (1996) Cell adhesion: The molecular basis of tissue architecture and morphogenesis. Cell 84, 345-357.


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