L1 Cell Adhesion Molecule in Cancer, a Systematic Review on Domain-Specific Functions
SourceInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20, 17, (2019), article E4180
Article / Letter to editor
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Cell Biology (UMC)
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
SubjectRadboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) is a glycoprotein involved in cancer development and is associated with metastases and poor prognosis. Cellular processing of L1CAM results in expression of either full-length or cleaved forms of the protein. The different forms of L1CAM may localize at the plasma membrane as a transmembrane protein, or in the intra- or extracellular environment as cleaved or exosomal forms. Here, we systematically analyze available literature that directly relates to L1CAM domains and associated signaling pathways in cancer. Specifically, we chart its domain-specific functions in relation to cancer progression, and outline pre-clinical assays used to assess L1CAM. It is found that full-length L1CAM has both intracellular and extracellular targets, including interactions with integrins, and linkage with ezrin. Cellular processing leading to proteolytic cleavage and/or exosome formation results in extracellular soluble forms of L1CAM that may act through similar mechanisms as compared to full-length L1CAM, such as integrin-dependent signals, but also through distinct mechanisms. We provide an algorithm to guide a step-wise analysis on L1CAM in clinical samples, to promote interpretation of domain-specific expression. This systematic review infers that L1CAM has an important role in cancer progression that can be attributed to domain-specific forms. Most studies focus on the full-length plasma membrane L1CAM, yet knowledge on the domain-specific forms is a prerequisite for selective targeting treatment.
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