A Prehistory of Cell Adhesion

AJ Harwood, Juliet Coates

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

27 Citations (Scopus)


Cell adhesion is a basic property of animal cells, but is also present in many other eukaryotes. Did cell adhesion systems arise independently in different eukaryotic groups, or do they share common origins? Recent results show that cell adhesion proteins related to cadherin, IgG-like CAM and C-type lectin are present both in sponges, the most distant animal branch, and in eukaryote groups outside the metazoan lineage, indicating that these forms of adhesion arose prior to animal evolution. Furthermore, proteins containing features of animal adhesion systems, such as Fas-1 and thrombospondin domains, are distributed throughout the eukaryotes and function in cell adhesion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-476
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cell Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


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