Role of E-cadherin and Other Cell Adhesion Molecules in Survival and Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

Cell Adh Migr. Jan-Feb 2012;6(1):59-70. doi: 10.4161/cam.19583.


The survival, proliferation, self-renewal and differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs, including human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells) involve a number of processes that require cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. The cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), a group of cell surface proteins play a pivotal role in mediating such interactions. Recent studies have provided insights into the essential roles and mechanisms of CAMs in the regulation of hPSC fate decisions. Here, we review the latest research progress in this field and focus on how E-cadherin and several other important CAMs including classic cadherins, Ig-superfamily CAMs, integrins and heparin sulfate proteoglycans control survival and differentiation of hPSCs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Binding Sites
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Survival
  • Cell-Matrix Junctions / metabolism
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antigens, CD
  • CDH2 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans
  • Integrins
  • cadherin 5