Nr-CAM: A cell adhesion molecule with ligand and receptor functions

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Nr-CAM Ng-CAM-related cell adhesion molecule) is expressed only in the nervous system on a subset of neurons and non-neuronal cells, including floor-plate cells in the spinal cord and Schwann cells. It is a member of the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily and can bind by a homophilic mechanism but its heterophilic interactions may be of greater biological significance. Nr-CAM functions as a neuronal receptor for neurite growth-promoting stimuli provided by contactin/F11, neurofascin, and RPTPβ. In addition, by binding to neuronal receptors such as axonin-1, it can modulate axonal guidance, Nr-CAM can also interact laterally with contactin/F11 within the plasma membrane in the form of a complex that may transmit signals to regulate axonal growth. This review summarizes the structure and expression of Nr-CAM and discusses its potential functions as a ligand and as a receptor during neural development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-428
Number of pages6
JournalCell And Tissue Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 13 1997
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


  • Axonal guidance
  • Cell adhesion
  • Ig superfamily
  • Neural development
  • Neurite growth
  • Nr-CAM

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