IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 15 / DOI: 10.2741/3121

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
The tumor antigen EpCAM: tetraspanins and the tight junction protein claudin-7, new partners, new functions
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1 INSERM U602, F-94807 Villejuif, France
2 Universite Paris 11, Institut Andre Lwoff, F-94807 Villejuif, France
3 Department of Tumor Progression and Immune Defense, German Cancer Research Center, D-69120 Heidelberg
4 Department of Applied Genetics, University of Karlsruhe, D-76128 Karlsruhe, Germany

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Olivier Gires

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(15), 5847–5865;
Published: 1 May 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue EpCAM, the revival of a long-known tumor-associated antigen)

The cell-cell adhesion molecule EpCAM/CD326 has been one of the first tumor-associated antigens and has soon received attention as an antibody target in cancer therapy. However, only recently, progress has been achieved in disclosing the array of functional activities of EpCAM and the underlying molecular mechanisms. This review will particularly focus on cooperative activity of EpCAM with two classes of transmembrane molecules, tetraspanins and claudins. EpCAM can associate with claudin-7 and the tetraspanins CD9 and CO-029. We propose that complex formation of EpCAM with tetraspanins and claudins does not only interfere with EpCAM-mediated homotypic cell-cell adhesion, but importantly, is also associated with a gain of function, like induction of apoptosis resistance.

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