Cell adhesion proteins as tumor suppressors

Takatsugu Okegawa, Yingming Li, Rey Chen Pong, Jer Tsong Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Purpose: We summarize recent progress on the role of cell adhesion molecules in biology and discuss the potential application of cell adhesion molecules for managing urological cancer. Materials and Methods: We comprehensively reviewed the literature from 1982 to 2001, including peer reviewed publications and recent abstracts from national meetings, relevant to cell adhesion molecules in urological cancer. Results: A growing body of evidence suggests that alterations in the adhesion properties of neoplastic cells have a pivotal role in the development and progression of cancer. Loss of intercellular adhesion and desquamation of cells from the underlying lamina propria allows malignant cells to escape from their site of origin, degrade the extracellular matrix, acquire a more motile and invasion phenotype, and invade and metastasize. In addition to participating in tumor invasiveness and metastasis, adhesion molecules regulate or significantly contribute to various functions, including signal transduction, cell growth, differentiation, site specific gene expression, morphogenesis, immunological function, cell motility, wound healing and inflammation. To date a diverse system of transmembrane glycoproteins has been identified that mediates cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix adhesion. The main families of adhesion molecules include members of the Ig superfamily, cadherins, integrins and selectins. Conclusions: Multiple and diverse cell adhesion molecules participate in intercellular and cell-extracellular matrix interactions of cancer. Cancer progression is a multistep process, in which some adhesion molecules have a pivotal role in the development of recurrent, invasive and distant metastasis. Recent data implicate some of these molecules in cell signaling and tumor suppression, which has important consequences for tumor growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1836-1843
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4 I
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell adhesion molecules
  • Urinary tract
  • Urologic neoplasms


Dive into the research topics of 'Cell adhesion proteins as tumor suppressors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this