Platelet/Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 PECAM-1, CD31): The Ail-Purpose Adhesion Molecule

W. A. Muller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1, CD31, and henceforth in this review referred to as "PECAM") is a member of the immunoglobulin gene super-family. This 130 kDa glycoprotein is concentrated in the junctions between vascular endothelial cells and expressed diffusely on the surfaces of platelets and many types of circulating leukocytes. In addition to being expressed on multiple cell types that interact within the bone marrow and vascular system, it is capable of mediating several different adhesion reactions. It can bind like cells to each other (homotypic adhesion), such as at the endothelial junction. It can bind different cells together (heterotypic adhesion), such as leukocyte to endothelium. On a molecular level, PECAM is capable of homophilic (PECAM binding to PECAM) as well as heterophils adhesion, (for which certain sulfated glycosaminoglycans may be ligands), depending upon the experimental conditions. Moreover, on leukocytes, ligation of PECAM has been shown to activate adhesion molecules of the integrin family on the same cell. PECAM is thus in a position to play many different roles in the physiology and pathophysiology of the vascular system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Glycoscience and Glycotechnology
Issue number31
StatePublished - 1994


  • CD31
  • PECAM-1
  • adhesion molecule
  • endothelium
  • leukocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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