The role of the CD44/ezrin complex in cancer metastasis

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2003 May;46(2):165-86. doi: 10.1016/s1040-8428(02)00172-5.


CD44 is a cell adhesion molecule that was traditionally known as 'homing receptor'. This molecule is known to interact with the ezrin family (ERM family) members and form a complex that plays diverse roles within both normal and abnormal cells, particularly cancer cells. CD44 and ezrin and their respective complex have properties suggesting that they may be important in the process of tumour-endothelium interactions, cell migrations, cell adhesion, tumour progression and metastasis. This article reviews the role of CD44, ezrin family and the CD44/ezrin complex in cancer cells and their clinical impact in patients with cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / chemistry
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / genetics
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / physiology*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Models, Molecular
  • Multigene Family
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / chemistry
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Phosphoproteins / chemistry
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • ezrin