The role of cell adhesion molecules in axon growth and guidance

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;621:95-103. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-76715-4_7.


During development, axons elongate along the correct path toward their final targets. Growing axons maintain adhesive interactions with specific environmental cues via cell adhesion molecules (CAMs). The axon-environment adhesion must be dynamically controlled, both temporally and spatially, to enable the axons to navigate and migrate correctly. In this way, CAMs play a central role in mediating contact-dependent regulation of motile behavior of the axons. This chapter examines the mechanisms underlying how CAMs control axon growth and guidance, with a particular focus on intracellular signaling, trafficking, and interactions with the actin cytoskeleton.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology*
  • Growth Cones / physiology
  • Humans
  • Morphogenesis / physiology


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules