The Nectin cell adhesion molecule (Nectin) family members are Ca2+‑independent immunoglobulin‑like cellular adhesion molecules (including Nectins 1‑4), involved in cell adhesion via homophilic/heterophilic interplay. In addition, the Nectin family plays a significant role in enhancing cellular viability and movement ability. In contrast to enrichment of Nectins 1‑3 in normal tissues, Nectin‑4 is particularly overexpressed in a number of tumor types, including breast, lung, urothelial, colorectal, pancreatic and ovarian cancer. Moreover, the upregulation of Nectin‑4 is an independent biomarker for overall survival in numerous cancer types. A large number of studies have revealed that high expression of Nectin‑4 is closely related to tumor occurrence and development in various cancer types, but the manner in which Nectin‑4 protein contributes to the onset and development of these malignancies is yet unknown. The present review summarizes the molecular mechanisms and functions of Nectin‑4 protein in the biological processes and current advances with regard to its expression and regulation in various cancer types.
Keywords: Nectin‑4; cancer; prognosis; prognostic factor; survival; tumor.