[Frontiers in Bioscience 8, s1304-1320, September 1, 2003]


Domna Karagogeos

Department of Basic Science, University of Crete Medical School and Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Heraklion, Crete, Greece


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Subgroups of GPI-linked CAMs-major similarities and differences
3.1. Structural Issues
4. The TAG-1/contactin subfamily
4.1. Expression meets function
4.1.1. During development
4.1.2. In the adult
4.2. Related molecules
4.3. GPI-CAM deficient mice
4.4. A jungle of interactions
4.5. Outside-in signaling: the case of GPI-CAMs
4.6. GPI and released CAMs
5. The IgLON subfamily
5.1. Expression patterns
5.2. Interactions involving IgLON proteins
5.3. Related molecules
6. GPI-CAMs in two invertebrate model systems, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans.
6.1. Drosophila melanogaster
6.2. Caenorhabditis elegans
7. Perspectives
8. Acknowledgements
9. References


When first identified, neural cell adhesion molecules (neural CAMs) were thought to act simply by providing cell surfaces with differential adhesion properties. In the decades following the identification of the first neural CAMs, it has been realized that these proteins are actually involved in very complex processes such as axon guidance, neuronal migration, neurite outgrowth and fasciculation, target selection, synapse formation, plasticity and more recently, the maintenance of the integrity of myelinated fibers. In this review we will summarize work relating to glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored CAMs (GPI-CAMs) and will highlight expression/function issues, protein interactions and the role of the GPI in signaling.