Adhesion and Migration

Cell adhesion is a complex process that mediates specific physical interactions and cross-talk between a cell and its environment. Cell adhesion plays a critical role in normal development and system homeostasis. Disruptions in the normal regulation of cell adhesion contribute to tumor cell invasiveness and metastasis. Cell adhesion is mediated by specific classes of adhesion molecules including integrins, Ig-superfamily cell adhesion molecules (ICAMS), cadherins, and lectins that promote the adhesion of cells to each other or to components of the extracellular matrix. In the immune system, cell adhesion is essential for activation, tissue extravasation, and contact dependent cytolysis. Cell adhesion molecules also participate in signaling pathways that transmit information from the extracellular environment to the interior of the cell.