Mechanistic Insights into the Physiological Functions of Cell Adhesion Proteins Using Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy
Vedula S.R.K.; Lim T.S.; Hunziker W.; and Lim C.T.

Source MCB: Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 169-182, 2008
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Abstract Intercellular adhesion molecules play an important role in regulating several cellular processes such as a proliferation, migration and differentiation. They also play an important role in regulating solute diffusion across monolayers of cells. The adhesion characteristics of several intercellular adhesion molecules have been studied using various biochemical assays. However, the advent of single molecule force spectroscopy as a powerful tool to analyze the kinetics and strength of protein interactions has provided us with an opportunity to investigate these interactions at the level of a single molecule. The study of interactions involving intercellular adhesion molecules has gained importance because of the fact that qualitative and quantitative changes in these proteins are associated with several disease processes. In this review, we focus on the basic principles, data acquisition and analysis in single molecule force spectroscopy experiments. Furthermore, we discuss the correlation between results obtained using single molecule force experiments and the physiological functions of the proteins in the context of intercellular adhesion molecules. Finally, we summarize some of the diseases associated with changes in intercellular adhesion molecules.
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