Cellular adhesion

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cellular adhesion is a biological process that involves the interaction between cells or between a cell and the extracellular matrix. This process is crucial for various biological functions such as tissue repair, immune response, and embryonic development.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Cellular adhesion is a complex process that involves a variety of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs). These molecules are proteins located on the cell surface and play a key role in cell adhesion by binding to other cells or to the extracellular matrix. There are several types of CAMs, including integrins, cadherins, selectins, and immunoglobulin superfamily members.

Mechanisms[edit | edit source]

The mechanisms of cellular adhesion can be broadly classified into two categories: homophilic and heterophilic adhesion. In homophilic adhesion, the same types of CAMs on different cells bind to each other. In contrast, heterophilic adhesion involves the binding of different types of CAMs.

Functions[edit | edit source]

Cellular adhesion plays a crucial role in various biological functions. It is essential for the formation and maintenance of tissue structure. It also plays a key role in the immune response by facilitating the interaction between immune cells and their targets. Moreover, cellular adhesion is involved in the process of wound healing and embryonic development.

Clinical significance[edit | edit source]

Abnormalities in cellular adhesion can lead to various diseases. For example, defects in cellular adhesion are associated with cancer metastasis, as cancer cells can detach from the primary tumor and spread to other parts of the body. Moreover, abnormalities in cellular adhesion can lead to autoimmune diseases, as they can result in the inappropriate activation of immune cells.

See also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD