Cloning and characterization of a gene that regulates cell adhesion.
Pullman WE., Bodmer WF.
Molecules of the cadherin and integrin families involved in cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion have been implicated in epithelial differentiation, carcinogenesis and metastasis. Having observed that a colon cancer cell line bound avidly to collagen type I, inducing integrin-triggered glandular differentiation, we investigated the regulation of integrin function in these cells. We modified a mammalian expression cloning system that used monoclonal antibody selection to clone cell surface molecules. Using attachment to collagen type I to select for adhesive phenotype, we isolated a complementary DNA clone that increases cell adhesion to components of the extracellular matrix. The corresponding gene (cell adhesion regulator, CAR) is located on the long arm of chromosome 16 (16q) and encodes a protein of 142 amino acids, which has an N-terminal myristoylation motif and a consensus tyrosine-kinase phosphorylation site at the C terminus. Removal of this tyrosine residue abolishes enhancement of cell-matrix adhesion. This gene may encode an adhesion signal transduction molecule that functions in the suppression of tumour invasion.