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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jan 26;276(4):2733-41. Epub 2000 Oct 25.

JAM-2, a novel immunoglobulin superfamily molecule, expressed by endothelial and lymphatic cells.

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Department of Pathology, Centre Medical Universitaire, 1 rue Michel-Servet, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland.


Cell-cell contacts are essential for morphogenesis and tissue function and play a vital role in mediating endothelial cohesion within the vascular system during vessel growth and organization. We identified a novel junctional adhesion molecule, named JAM-2, by a selective RNA display method, which allowed identification of transcripts encoding immunoglobulin superfamily molecules regulated during coculture of endothelial cells with tumor cells. The JAM-2 transcript is highly expressed during embryogenesis and is detected in lymph node and Peyer's patches RNA of adult mice. Accordingly, antibodies specific for JAM-2 stain high endothelial venules and lymphatic vessels in lymphoid organs, and vascular structures in the kidney. Using real time video microscopy, we show that JAM-2 is localized within minutes to the newly formed cell-cell contact. The role of the protein in the sealing of cell-cell contact is further suggested by the reduced paracellular permeability of cell monolayer transfected with JAM-2 cDNA, and by the localization of JAM-2 to tight junctional complexes of polarized cells. Taken together, our results suggest that JAM-2 is a novel vascular molecule, which participates in interendothelial junctional complexes.

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