NCAM-induced intracellular signaling revisited

J Neurosci Res. 2008 Mar;86(4):727-43. doi: 10.1002/jnr.21551.


The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) plays a crucial role in neuronal development, synaptic plasticity, and regeneration. NCAM works as "smart glue" that not only mediates cell-cell adhesion but also induces activation of a complex network of intracellular signaling cascades on homophilic or heterophilic binding. Stimulation of NCAM by homophilic interactions induces neuronal differentiation through activation of a number of signaling molecules, including the fibroblast growth factor receptor, non-receptor kinases Fyn and focal adhesion kinase, growth-associated protein-43, the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, intracellular Ca(2+), and protein kinases A, C, and G. This review presents and discusses the current knowledge in the area of NCAM signaling with a focus on the events involved in NCAM-mediated neurite outgrowth.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology*
  • Neurites / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules