Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule, PECAM‐1, modulates cell migration

Lisa A Schimmenti, Horng‐Chin ‐C Yan, Joseph A. Madri, Steven M. Albelda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Cell migration is an important process in such phenomena as growth, development, and wound healing. The control of cell migration is orchestrated in part by cell surface adhesion molecules. These molecules fall into two major categories: those that bind to extracellular matrix and those that bind to adjacent cells. Here, we report on the role of a cell‐cell adhesion molecule, platelet‐endothelial cell adhesion molecule‐1, (PECAM‐1), a member of the lg superfamily, in the modulation of cell migration and cell‐cell adhesion. PECAM‐1 is a 120–130 kDa integral membrane protein that resides on endothelial cells and localizes at sites of cell‐cell contact. Since endothelial cells express PECAM‐1 constitutively, we studied the effects of PECAM‐1 on cell‐cell adhesion and migration in a null‐cell population. Specifically, we transfected NIH/3T3 cells with the full length PECAM‐1 molecule (two independent clones). Transfected cells containing only the neomycin resistance gene, cells expressing a construct coding for the extracellular domain of the molecule, and cells expressing the neu oncogene were used as controls. The PECAM‐1 transfectants appeared smaller and more polygonal and tended to grow in clusters. Indirect immunofluorescence of PECAM‐1 transfectants showed peripheral staining at sites of cell‐cell contact, while the extracellular domain transfectants and the control cells did not. In two quantitative migration assays, the full‐length PECAM‐1 transfectants migrated more slowly than control cells. Thus, PECAM‐1 transfected into a null cell appears to localize to sites of cell‐cell contact, promote cell‐cell adhesion, and diminish the rate of migration. These findings suggest a role for this cell‐cell adhesion molecule in the process of endothelial cell migration. © 1992 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-428
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cellular physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1992


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