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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2012 Mar;44(3):441-6. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2011.11.020. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

NCAM2/OCAM/RNCAM: cell adhesion molecule with a role in neuronal compartmentalization.

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  • 1Protein Laboratory, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Panum Institute, Blegdamsvej 3C, Building 24.2, 2200 Copenhagen N., DK, Denmark.


Neural cell adhesion molecules 2 (NCAM2/OCAM/RNCAM), is a paralog of NCAM1. The protein exists in a transmembrane and a lipid-anchored isoform, and has an ectodomain consisting of five immunoglobulin modules and two fibronectin type 3 homology modules. Structural models of the NCAM2 ectodomain reveal that it facilitates cell adhesion through reciprocal interactions between the membrane-distal immunoglobulin modules. There are no known heterophilic NCAM2 binding partners, and NCAM2 is not glycosylated with polysialic acid, a posttranslational modification known to be a major modulator of NCAM1-mediated processes. This suggests that NCAM2 has a function or mode of action distinctly different from that of NCAM1. NCAM2 is primarily expressed in the brain, where it is believed to stimulate neurite outgrowth and to facilitate dendritic and axonal compartmentalization.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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