Lectin cell adhesion molecules (LEC-CAMs): a new family of cell adhesion proteins involved with inflammation

J Cell Biochem. 1991 Feb;45(2):139-46. doi: 10.1002/jcb.240450204.


The means by which leukocytes, including lymphocytes, monocytes, and neutrophils, migrate from the circulation to sites of acute and chronic inflammation is an area of intense research interest. Although a number of soluble mediators of these important cellular interactions have been identified, a major site of great importance to the inflammatory response is the physical interface between the white cell and the endothelium. This critical association is mediated by an array of cell surface adhesion molecules. Previous data have demonstrated that the integrin subfamily of heterotypic adhesion molecules was a major component of these adhesive interactions, although it was clear that other, non-integrin-like molecules of unknown identity also seemed to be involved during the inflammatory process. A number of these other cell-surface glycoproteins which may be involved with inflammation have recently been characterized by molecular cloning. These glycoproteins, including the peripheral lymph node homing receptor (pln HR), the endothelial cell adhesion molecule (ELAM), and PADGEM/gmp140, are all members of a family of proteins which are unified by the inclusion of three characteristic protein motifs: a lectin or carbohydrate recognition domain, an epidermal growth factor (egf) domain, and a variable number of short consensus repeats (scr) which are also found in members of the complement regulatory proteins. The appearance of lectin domains in all of these adhesion molecules is consistent with the possibility that these glycoproteins function by binding to carbohydrates which are expressed in a cell and/or region specific manner, and the members of this adhesion family have been given the generic name LEC-CAM (lectin cell adhesion molecules).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / classification*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology
  • Consensus Sequence
  • DNA / genetics
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / genetics
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Lectins / classification*
  • Lectins / genetics
  • Lectins / physiology
  • Leukocytes / pathology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • P-Selectin
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing / genetics
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing / physiology
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Lectins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • P-Selectin
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • DNA