The cell adhesion molecules are ubiquitous recognition molecules that allow cells to communicate with one another and their environment. Through these molecules, complex alterations in the cytoplasmic messenger pathways and the microfilamentous cytoskeleton can lead to profound alterations in cell division, differentiation, behaviour, and function (fig 9). It is difficult to conceive of a group of molecules that could be more important to pathologists and to their understanding of disease processes.
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