Nectins and nectin-like molecules: roles in cell adhesion, polarization, movement, and proliferation

IUBMB Life. May-Jun 2006;58(5-6):334-43. doi: 10.1080/15216540600719622.


Nectins and nectin-like molecules (Necls) are immunoglobulin-like cell adhesion molecules that constitute families containing four and five members, respectively. All members, except for Necl-5, trans-interact homophilically. Furthermore, all members, including Necl-5, trans-interact heterophilically with their respective specific partners among the members. Necl-5 regulates cell movement and proliferation cooperatively with integrin alphavbeta3 and growth factor receptors. Nectins function as cell-cell adhesion molecules at a variety of cell-cell junctions, including adherens junctions, and regulate the initial step of cell-cell junction formation. Nectins and integrin alphavbeta3 are further involved in the cross-talk between cell-matrix and cell-cell junctions. Thus, both nectin and Necl family members play important roles in fundamental cellular functions, including cell adhesion, polarization, movement, and proliferation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Humans
  • Nectins


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Nectins