Cell adhesion is a dynamic process that results from specific interactions between cell surface molecules and their appropriate ligands. Adhesion can be found between adjacent cells (cell-cell adhesion) as well as between cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) (cell-matrix adhesion). Besides keeping a multicellular organism together, cell adhesion is also a source of specific signals to adherent cells; their phenotype can thus be regulated by their adhesive interactions. In fact, most of the cell adhesion receptors were found to be involved in signal transduction. By interacting with growth factor receptors they are able to modulate their signaling efficiency. Therefore, gene expression, cytoskeletal dynamics and growth regulation all depend, at least partially, on cell adhesive interactions (Fig. 1).
Adhesion. Figure 1 Cell adhesion in normal (a, b) and cancer (c, d) cells. Normal mesenchymal cells show regular actin stress