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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Oct;16(5):470-6.

A prehistory of cell adhesion.

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  • 1MRC Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT. a.harwood@ucl.ac.uk


Cell adhesion is a basic property of animal cells, but is also present in many other eukaryotes. Did cell adhesion systems arise independently in different eukaryotic groups, or do they share common origins? Recent results show that cell adhesion proteins related to cadherin, IgG-like CAM and C-type lectin are present both in sponges, the most distant animal branch, and in eukaryote groups outside the metazoan lineage, indicating that these forms of adhesion arose prior to animal evolution. Furthermore, proteins containing features of animal adhesion systems, such as Fas-1 and thrombospondin domains, are distributed throughout the eukaryotes and function in cell adhesion.

Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.

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