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ALCAM (Activated Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule)

Written2017-06Esra Yavuz, Merve Oyken, Ayse Elif Erson Bensan
Esra Yavuz: Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey,;;

Abstract ALCAM (Activated Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule), also known as CD166 (cluster of differentiation 166), is a member of a subfamily of immunoglobulin receptors with five immunoglobulin-like domains (VVC2C2C2) in the extracellular domain.

Keywords ALCAM, CD166, cell adhesion

(Note : for Links provided by Atlas : click)


Alias (NCBI)CD166 (cluster of differentiation 166)
HGNC Alias symbCD166
HGNC Previous nameactivated leucocyte cell adhesion molecule
LocusID (NCBI) 314
Atlas_Id 616
Location 3q13.11  [Link to chromosome band 3q13]
Location_base_pair Starts at 105366909 and ends at 105576900 bp from pter ( according to GRCh38/hg38-Dec_2013)  [Mapping ALCAM.png]
Local_order From centromere to telomere: LOC107986108, LOC105374023, ALCAM, CBLB, LOC107986109, LOC105374024
  Local order of ALCAM is shown together with leading and subsequent genes on chromosome 3. The direction of arrows indicates transcriptional direction on the chromosome and arrow sizes approximate gene sizes.
Fusion genes
(updated 2017)
Data from Atlas, Mitelman, Cosmic Fusion, Fusion Cancer, TCGA fusion databases with official HUGO symbols (see references in chromosomal bands)
AHDC1 (1p36.11)::ALCAM (3q13.11)ALCAM (3q13.11)::EIF2A (3q25.1)ALCAM (3q13.11)::EPHA6 (3q11.2)
ALCAM (3q13.11)::SH3KBP1 (Xp22.12)ALCAM (3q13.11)::YIF1B (19q13.2)


  Exons are shown as boxes, introns are shown as lines.
Description ALCAM gene is 210,200 bp long and resides on the positive strand on DNA. The gene has a total of 16 exons.
Transcription ALCAM gene codes for 9 transcripts, 4 of them are protein coding (4701, 4189, 2496, 1818 bp) and 5 of them are non-protein coding transcripts (2845, 1770, 1242, 783, 564 bp).
Pseudogene No reported pseudogenes for ALCAM.


Note ALCAM is a glycoprotein of the immunoglobulin superfamily and has an estimated molecular weight of 100-105 kDa.
  Domains are shown as bars.
Expression ALCAM is expressed in almost every tissue. Higher expression is observed in parathyroid gland. Tissues with medium ALCAM expression are cerebral cortex, cerebellum, thyroid gland, tonsil, nasopharynx, bronchus, lung, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, salivary gland, stomach, urinary bladder, kidney, epididymis, prostate, seminal vesicle, breast, cervix, uterine, endometrium and fallopian tube. Tissues with low expression are hippocampus, caudate, adrenal gland, appendix, lymph node, oral mucosa, rectum, duodenum, small intestine, colon, ovary, placenta, soft tissue and skin. Spleen, bone marrow, heart muscle, smooth muscle, skeletal muscle, esophagus, testis, vagina and adipose tissue have no ALCAM expression (The Human Protein Atlas,
Localisation ALCAM protein is localized to the cell membrane (Bowen et al., 1995).
Function ALCAM is a type-I transmembrane protein, which belongs to the immunoglobulin superfamily (Bowen et al., 1995). It constitutes 5 immunoglobulin-like domains and a short COOH-terminal cytoplasmic tail (Weidle et al., 2010). ALCAM was first shown as a ligand of CD6 on activated leukocytes (Whitney et al., 1995). Then, it was found on hematopoietic stem cells and myeloid progenitors (Swart, 2002). ALCAM-CD6 interaction mediates T-cell activation or proliferation. In addition, ALCAM-ALCAM homophilic interaction contributes to cellular changes, such as angiogenesis, immune response and cell migration during the neuronal development (van Kempen et al., 2001). The expression of ALCAM was found during organ development in the central and peripheral nervous system, sensory organs, hematopoiesis, endothelial and epithelial lineage (Swart, 2002). Furthermore, a short ALCAM transcript leads to a soluble isoform of ALCAM (sALCAM). This isoform has only one immunoglobulin-like domain (D1), which is important for ligand binding (Ikeda and Quertermous, 2004). The roles of sALCAM were considered to block hemophilic binding of ALCAM and endogenous ALCAM function (Swart, 2002). Moreover, sALCAM was also shown to inhibit tumor progression in melanoma cells (van Kilsdonk et al., 2008).


Note There are only a few reported mutations in ALCAM. One of the known cases is the deletion of ALCAM at 3q13.1 in a keratocystic odontogenic tumor. This mutation is thought to contribute to a matrix metalloproteinase-mediated proteolytic cascade, leading to tumor growth (Heikinheimo et al., 2007). In addition, it was reported that deletion of ALCAM might be related to craniofacial abnormalities (Simovich et al., 2008).
Epigenetics ALCAM promoter contains several cis-acting elements including RELA (p65 NF-kB) binding motif. This motif has several CpG residues and it is highly methylated in breast cancer cells, resulting with loss of ALCAM expression (King et al., 2010). Hypermethylation of ALCAM promoter was also observed in preeclampsia placentas (Yeung et al., 2016).

Implicated in

Entity Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
Note CD166/ALCAM protein levels were reported to be significantly upregulated in AML cell lines and AML blasts of some patients (Strassberger, 2014).
Entity Brain Tumors
Note ALCAM was reported to be enriched in brain tumor cells to promote invasion (Kijima, 2012). It was suggested that ALCAM/ALCAM interaction may play an important role in early stages of metastasis seeding in the brain (Soto, 2014).
Entity Breast Cancer
Note Loss of ALCAM expression was found to increase the invasiveness of breast cancer cells and reduced levels of ALCAM was associated with poor prognosis. ALCAM overexpression caused cell growth reduction and a decrease in adhesion to matrix and migration. Low levels of ALCAM in breast cancer cells have been linked to bone matrix adhesion, which leads to bone metastasis (Davies S. and Jiang W.G., 2010). It was suggested that high ALCAM levels were seen in normal and cancerous breast epithelial cells and loss of ALCAM expression is associated with tumor progression, accelerated cell proliferation and decrease in survival (Brandt, 2014). Furthermore, low expression of ALCAM contributes to a more aggressive phenotype among African-American women (Tan, 2014). Interestingly, elevated serum levels of ALCAM was found to be correlated with aggressive tumor behavior in breast cancer patients indicating that serum ALCAM may be used as a biomarker (Witzel, 2012).
Entity Chordoma
Note ALCAM is a positive biomarker for chordoma and might play an important role for chordoma relapse (Chen, 2015).
Entity Cholangiocarcinoma
Note ALCAM protein is expressed on the membranes of invasive Cholangiocarcinoma cells so that might be used as a biomarker for diagnosis, prognosis and therapy (Adisakwattana, 2015).
Entity Endometrial Cancer
Note ALCAM is an early stage endometrioid endometrial cancer biomarker and important in regulation of cell migration, invasion and metastasis of endometrial cancer (Devis, 2016).
Entity Gall Bladder Cancer
Note SNPs within ALCAM (ALCAM rs1157G>A) gene, may play a role in GBC susceptibility (Yadav, 2015).
Entity Gastric Cancer
Note Elevated levels of miR-9 may lead to ALCAM mRNA level reduction in SGC-7901 human gastric cancer cells (Ye, 2004).
Entity Colorectal Cancer
Note PROM1 (CD133) and ALCAM co-localization is seen during early stages of colon tumorigenesis, indicating well differentiation (Margaritescu, 2014). ALCAM expression was detected in colon CSCs in humans and also in premalignant adenomatous polyps (Leavell, 2012). Difference in cellular location of ALCAM cause differences in prognostic value and cytoplasmic expression is associated with worse prognosis outcome and CD166 expression of it, is an indicator of advanced T category and N-positive status in colorectal cancer (Ni, 2013).
Entity Liver Cancer
Note ALCAM and CD44 promote tumorigenesis of liver cells and might be important for therapy strategies (Ma, 2014). It was also shown that the ALCAM/AKT axis regulates tumorigenesis by post-translational modifications and cytosolic accumulation of FOXO proteins in hepatoma cells (Yu, 2014).
Entity Lung Cancer
Note ALCAM was reported to be overexpressed in small cell lung cancers (Teicher A.B., 2014). Overexpression of ALCAM leads to malignancy in non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) (Ishiguro, 2013). ALCAM expression levels were associated with smaller tumors with no lymph node metastasis in primary NSCLC lesions (Tachezy, 2014).
Entity Melanoma
Note High levels of ALCAM expression in primary tumors indicate poor prognosis and invasive phenotype (Donizy, 2015).
Entity Mesothelioma
Note ALCAM, was detected as one of the most highly upregulated genes in all 20 cell lines of Mesothelioma which may indicate that ALCAM overexpression is associated with tumor progression and ALCAM may be a target for treatment (Ishiguro, 2012).
Entity Myeloma
Note It was reported that ALCAM is associated with cell migration and invasion in myeloma cell lines (NCI-H929, JJN3, KMS-11, MM1S, OPM2, RPMI-8226, U266, and U266-LR7 (Paiva, 2015).
Entity Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
Note ALCAM is a positive marker of Cancer Stem Cells and expressed in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells (Chen, 2015).
Entity Ovarian Cancer
Note ALCAM levels are associated with progression-free survival in ovarian cancer cells as a MIR378A target (Chan, 2014). EGFR was found to control the release of ALCAM from ovarian cancer cells via a metalloproteinase associated mechanism (Lozneanu, 2015). Serum sALCAM levels were found to be significantly higher in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) compared to controls and elevated serum levels of sALCAM were associated with MUC16 (CA125) level and more aggressive (type II) tumors (Carbotti, 2013). It was shown that ALCAM is expressed at the surface of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cells and may be internalized after soluble ligand engagement (Nuti, 2013).
Entity Pancreatic Cancer
Note ALCAM is expressed in most of the pancreatic cancer lesions, but there is not any association between clinical and pathological data (Tachezy, 2012). ALCAM expressing (CD166+) pancreatic cancer cells are reported to be strongly tumorigenic, but interestingly, CD166- pancreatic cancer cells show stronger invasive and migratory activities. (Fujiwara et. al., 2014). ALCAM levels are upregulated in Pancreatic Stellate Cells of pancreatic cancer tissues, which may indicate a role for ALCAM to regulate pancreatic cancer cell-pancreatic stellate cell interaction (Zhang, 2016).
Entity Rectal Cancer
Note It was found that ALCAM expression is upregulated after radiochemotherapy compared to pre-treatment stage in rectal cancer patients, indicating that radiochemotherapy upregulates stem cell markers in patients with rectal cancer (Deng, 2014).  
Entity Salivary Gland Tumor
Note ALCAM is overexpressed in both benign and malignant salivary gland tumors. ALCAM expression is associated with more aggressive behavior in malignant tumors (Andisheh-Tadbir, 2015).
Entity Thyroid Carcinoma
Note Elevated levels of ALCAM are associated with aggressive tumors and lymph node metastasis of thyroid carcinoma Chaker, 2013).
Entity Other diseases
Note Higher ALCAM expression reported in other cases are listed below:
  • Dental follicles in children (Kang et al., 2016)
  • Lymphocytes infected with human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (Curis et al., 2016)
  • Scrub typhus patients (Otterdal et al., 2014)
  • Salivary gland epithelial cells of Sjögren's syndrome patients (Le Dantec et al., 2013)
  • Subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue of male obese patients (Gonzalez-Muniesa et al., 2013)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with diapedesis compared to HIV seronegative (Williams et al., 2014)
  • The urine of Type I diabetes patients (Suh et al., 2015)
    ALCAM has been implicated in various pathologies other than cancer. For example, multiple sclerosis is speculated to be associated with genetic variations of ALCAM. (Wagner et al., 2013, Wagner et al., 2014).
    Elevated ALCAM expression could increase the recruitment of leukocytes into the microvasculature, leading to atherosclerosis (Zimmerman et al., 2006). Another study reported that ALCAM could promote heart injury (Lolyeva, 2013).
    Higher ALCAM concentrations in plasma of people with acute ischemic stroke have lower survival rate (Smedbakken et al., 2011).
    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ALCAM were associated with active adult-onset nonallergic asthma, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and type I diabetes (Siroux et al., 2014, Eleftherohorinou et al.,, 2009).


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    Molecular basis for the homophilic activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM)-ALCAM interaction.
    van Kempen LC, Nelissen JM, Degen WG, Torensma R, Weidle UH, Bloemers HP, Figdor CG, Swart GW.
    J Biol Chem. 2001 Jul 13;276(28):25783-90.
    PMID 11306570
    Attenuation of melanoma invasion by a secreted variant of activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule.
    van Kilsdonk JW, Wilting RH, Bergers M, van Muijen GN, Schalkwijk J, van Kempen LC, Swart GW.
    Cancer Res. 2008 May 15;68(10):3671-9.
    PMID 18483249


    This paper should be referenced as such :
    Esra Yavuz, Merve Oyken, Ayse Elif Erson Bensan
    ALCAM (Activated Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule)
    Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol. 2018;22(3):87-92.
    Free journal version : [ pdf ]   [ DOI ]

    External links


    HGNC (Hugo)ALCAM   400
    Entrez_Gene (NCBI)ALCAM    activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule
    AliasesCD166; MEMD
    GeneCards (Weizmann)ALCAM
    Ensembl hg19 (Hinxton)ENSG00000170017 [Gene_View]
    Ensembl hg38 (Hinxton)ENSG00000170017 [Gene_View]  ENSG00000170017 [Sequence]  chr3:105366909-105576900 [Contig_View]  ALCAM [Vega]
    ICGC DataPortalENSG00000170017
    TCGA cBioPortalALCAM
    AceView (NCBI)ALCAM
    Genatlas (Paris)ALCAM
    SOURCE (Princeton)ALCAM
    Genetics Home Reference (NIH)ALCAM
    Genomic and cartography
    GoldenPath hg38 (UCSC)ALCAM  -     chr3:105366909-105576900 +  3q13.11   [Description]    (hg38-Dec_2013)
    GoldenPath hg19 (UCSC)ALCAM  -     3q13.11   [Description]    (hg19-Feb_2009)
    GoldenPathALCAM - 3q13.11 [CytoView hg19]  ALCAM - 3q13.11 [CytoView hg38]
    Genome Data Viewer NCBIALCAM [Mapview hg19]  
    Gene and transcription
    Genbank (Entrez)AB074167 AK054632 AK095833 AK127617 AK300362
    RefSeq transcript (Entrez)NM_001243280 NM_001243281 NM_001243283 NM_001627
    Consensus coding sequences : CCDS (NCBI)ALCAM
    Gene ExpressionALCAM [ NCBI-GEO ]   ALCAM [ EBI - ARRAY_EXPRESS ]   ALCAM [ SEEK ]   ALCAM [ MEM ]
    Gene Expression Viewer (FireBrowse)ALCAM [ Firebrowse - Broad ]
    GenevisibleExpression of ALCAM in : [tissues]  [cell-lines]  [cancer]  [perturbations]  
    BioGPS (Tissue expression)314
    GTEX Portal (Tissue expression)ALCAM
    Human Protein AtlasENSG00000170017-ALCAM [pathology]   [cell]   [tissue]
    Protein : pattern, domain, 3D structure
    UniProt/SwissProtQ13740   [function]  [subcellular_location]  [family_and_domains]  [pathology_and_biotech]  [ptm_processing]  [expression]  [interaction]
    NextProtQ13740  [Sequence]  [Exons]  [Medical]  [Publications]
    With graphics : InterProQ13740
    Domaine pattern : Prosite (Expaxy)IG_LIKE (PS50835)   
    Domains : Interpro (EBI)CD166_antigen    CD80_C2-set    Ig-like_dom    Ig-like_dom_sf    Ig-like_fold    Ig_sub    Ig_sub2    Ig_V-set   
    Domain families : Pfam (Sanger)C2-set_2 (PF08205)   
    Domain families : Pfam (NCBI)pfam08205   
    Domain families : Smart (EMBL)IG (SM00409)  IGc2 (SM00408)  IGv (SM00406)  
    Conserved Domain (NCBI)ALCAM
    PDB (RSDB)1KJC    5A2F   
    PDB Europe1KJC    5A2F   
    PDB (PDBSum)1KJC    5A2F   
    PDB (IMB)1KJC    5A2F   
    Structural Biology KnowledgeBase1KJC    5A2F   
    SCOP (Structural Classification of Proteins)1KJC    5A2F   
    CATH (Classification of proteins structures)1KJC    5A2F   
    AlphaFold pdb e-kbQ13740   
    Human Protein Atlas [tissue]ENSG00000170017-ALCAM [tissue]
    Protein Interaction databases
    DIP (DOE-UCLA)Q13740
    IntAct (EBI)Q13740
    Ontologies - Pathways
    Ontology : AmiGOimmunological synapse  adaptive immune response  signaling receptor binding  protein binding  integral component of plasma membrane  focal adhesion  cell adhesion  heterophilic cell-cell adhesion via plasma membrane cell adhesion molecules  signal transduction  motor neuron axon guidance  external side of plasma membrane  axon  dendrite  intrinsic component of plasma membrane  retinal ganglion cell axon guidance  identical protein binding  neuronal cell body  axon extension involved in axon guidance  extracellular exosome  neuron projection extension  
    Ontology : EGO-EBIimmunological synapse  adaptive immune response  signaling receptor binding  protein binding  integral component of plasma membrane  focal adhesion  cell adhesion  heterophilic cell-cell adhesion via plasma membrane cell adhesion molecules  signal transduction  motor neuron axon guidance  external side of plasma membrane  axon  dendrite  intrinsic component of plasma membrane  retinal ganglion cell axon guidance  identical protein binding  neuronal cell body  axon extension involved in axon guidance  extracellular exosome  neuron projection extension  
    Pathways : KEGGCell adhesion molecules (CAMs)   
    REACTOMEQ13740 [protein]
    REACTOME PathwaysR-HSA-373760 [pathway]   
    NDEx NetworkALCAM
    Atlas of Cancer Signalling NetworkALCAM
    Wikipedia pathwaysALCAM
    Orthology - Evolution
    GeneTree (enSembl)ENSG00000170017
    Phylogenetic Trees/Animal Genes : TreeFamALCAM
    Homologs : HomoloGeneALCAM
    Homology/Alignments : Family Browser (UCSC)ALCAM
    Gene fusions - Rearrangements
    Fusion : MitelmanAHDC1::ALCAM [1p36.11/3q13.11]  
    Fusion : MitelmanALCAM::EIF2A [3q13.11/3q25.1]  
    Fusion : MitelmanALCAM::EPHA6 [3q13.11/3q11.2]  
    Fusion : MitelmanALCAM::SH3KBP1 [3q13.11/Xp22.12]  
    Fusion : MitelmanALCAM::YIF1B [3q13.11/19q13.2]  
    Fusion : QuiverALCAM
    Polymorphisms : SNP and Copy number variants
    NCBI Variation ViewerALCAM [hg38]
    dbSNP Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (NCBI)ALCAM
    Exome Variant ServerALCAM
    GNOMAD BrowserENSG00000170017
    Varsome BrowserALCAM
    ACMGALCAM variants
    Genomic Variants (DGV)ALCAM [DGVbeta]
    DECIPHERALCAM [patients]   [syndromes]   [variants]   [genes]  
    CONAN: Copy Number AnalysisALCAM 
    ICGC Data PortalALCAM 
    TCGA Data PortalALCAM 
    Broad Tumor PortalALCAM
    OASIS PortalALCAM [ Somatic mutations - Copy number]
    Somatic Mutations in Cancer : COSMICALCAM  [overview]  [genome browser]  [tissue]  [distribution]  
    Somatic Mutations in Cancer : COSMIC3DALCAM
    Mutations and Diseases : HGMDALCAM
    LOVD (Leiden Open Variation Database)[gene] [transcripts] [variants]
    DgiDB (Drug Gene Interaction Database)ALCAM
    DoCM (Curated mutations)ALCAM
    CIViC (Clinical Interpretations of Variants in Cancer)ALCAM
    NCG (London)ALCAM
    Impact of mutations[PolyPhen2] [Provean] [Buck Institute : MutDB] [Mutation Assessor] [Mutanalyser]
    Genetic Testing Registry ALCAM
    NextProtQ13740 [Medical]
    Target ValidationALCAM
    Huge Navigator ALCAM [HugePedia]
    Clinical trials, drugs, therapy
    Protein Interactions : CTDALCAM
    Pharm GKB GenePA24691
    Clinical trialALCAM
    DataMed IndexALCAM
    PubMed169 Pubmed reference(s) in Entrez
    GeneRIFsGene References Into Functions (Entrez)
    REVIEW articlesautomatic search in PubMed
    Last year publicationsautomatic search in PubMed

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    indexed on : Fri Oct 8 21:12:17 CEST 2021

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