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Cell adhesion assays

yrogerG hcierdnerhE gehrendreich at rushu.rush.edu
Wed Sep 16 02:20:52 EST 1998

okay, this is only a speculative question.  i am not actually
experimenting, just trying to get some understanding of a research
question that i have been assigned to work on for an exam.

the question, without going into too much detail, states that in doing
an epithelia adhesion assay, you have discovered a novel cell-cell
adhesion molecule.

i've been in the library for two days doing a bunch of research, have
plently of information about various identified CAMs, a great article by
Edelman where he elucidates criteria for identifying a molecule as a
CAM, whole bunches of morphological information, etc, etc, etc.

what I really want to know, and have been unable to find a clear
explaination of in journal articles, textbooks, etc is this:

what sort of information would you consider necessary from an adhesion
assay to consider that you had found a novel cell-cell adhesion
molecule?  blocking all of the known CAMs with antibodies and still
having adhesion?  this seems a little intensive to me.

the question is pretty vague and speculative.  i don't really know what
assumptions I can make.  For instance, I am having a really hard time
with the notion of how I can isolate this hypothetical protein to make
an antibody to it.  Once i can make an Ab, things aren't so bad, but
until then I'm a little bit lost.  How can I go from knowing that i have
a membrane-bound molecule that is a speculative CAM to being able to
isolate and characterize the molecule?

The (damn) question is WAAAAAAY too vague for my taste.  i don't want to
have to engage in idle speculation to start.

I am in a difficult position in asking for help here.  The question is
part of my preliminary examination for my PhD program, and the
instructions specifically state that I am not to discuss the question(s)
with any other students or faculty.  (so if you are a faculty member at
Rush University, please disregard this post).  I'm not trying to be
dishonest in any way here, but they kind of left me hanging without
anyone to ask for clarification without disqualifying myself.

Anybody that could email me (especially with good review-article type
references) I would much appreciate it.  I can give the full text of the
question to anybody who asks, but I would prefer not to, to try to avoid
any ethical dilemma.

What I really need is good review articles specifically about cell-cell
adhesion in hepatocytes.  I've had a hard time narrowing down my
searches in OVID and MedLine and if anybody here knows anything at all
I'd love your help.

although i wonder what they would do if i cited "personal communication"
as a reference.  sigh.  i guess i'll sleep on it.

gregory ehrendreich
dept of biochemistry
rush university

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