Signaling mechanism of cell adhesion molecules in breast cancer metastasis: potential therapeutic targets

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Jul;128(1):7-21. doi: 10.1007/s10549-011-1499-x. Epub 2011 Apr 16.


Metastasis is responsible for the majority of breast cancer-related deaths. The metastatic spread of cancer cells is a complicated process that requires considerable flexibility in the adhesive properties of both tumor cells and other interacting cells. Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are membrane receptors that mediate cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, and are essential for transducing intracellular signals responsible for adhesion, migration, invasion, angiogensis, and organ-specific metastasis. This review will discuss the recent advances in our understanding on the biological functions, signaling mechanisms, and therapeutic potentials of important CAMs involved in breast cancer metastasis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Selectins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Cadherins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Integrins
  • Selectins