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J Cell Biochem. 2010 Sep 1;111(1):111-22. doi: 10.1002/jcb.22673.

CRTAM: A molecule involved in epithelial cell adhesion.

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Department of Physiology, Biophysics and Neuroscience, Center for Research and Advanced Studies Cinvestav, Mexico City, Mexico.


Class I-restricted T cell associated molecule (CRTAM) is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily that complies with the structural characteristics of the JAM family of proteins and is phylogenetically more closely related to nectin-like proteins. Here we demonstrate for the first time, that CRTAM is expressed in epithelial cells along the lateral membrane and is important for early cell-cell contacts and cell-substrate interactions. CRTAM is sensitive to intermediate filament disruption and treatment of monolayers with soluble CRTAM enhances cell-cell dissociation and lowers transepithelial electrical resistance. Incubation of newly plated cells with anti-CRTAM antibody decreases the formation of cell aggregates and promotes cell detachment. Co-cultures of epithelial cells and fibroblasts that lack CRTAM expression and in vitro binding assays, demonstrate the participation of CRTAM in homotypic and heterotypic trans-interactions. Hence we conclude that CRTAM is a molecule involved in epithelial cell adhesion.

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