About VCAM / Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule:
The vascular cell adhesion molecule is a protein, and it is encoded in humans by a gene known as VCAM1. This functions as a cell adhesion molecule, and proves to be an extremely important process in many forms of life and physiological systems around the world.
Looking at the structure of the VCAM-1 gene, we can see six or seven immunoglobulin domains, and the expression on both large and small blood vessels, however this is only after the endothelial cells have been stimulated by cytokines. The molecule is alternatively spliced into two known RNA transcripts, and these transcripts are known to encode different isoforms in humans. The gene product is called a cell surface sialoglycoprotein, which is a type I membrane protein.
Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule Function
The primary function of the vascular cell adhesion molecule is to mediate the adhesion of lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils to vascular endothelium. At the same time, the molecule is known to function in leukocyte-endothelial cell signal transduction. There is also a chance, although it is as yet unproven, that it may play a role in the development of atherosclerosis and therefore rheumatoid arthritis.
Similarly, the VCAM-1 protein is an endothelial ligand for VLA-4 (Very Late Antigen-4 or integrin α4β1) of the β1 subfamily of integrins. This type of expression, which we would call VCAM-1 expression, is also known to occur in other cell types such as smooth muscle cells. It has also been shown to interact with EZR and Moesin, and it could exist on the surface of some subpopulations of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC).