Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1, or CD54) is a 9 kDa member of the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily and is critical for the firm arrest and transmigration of leukocytes out of blood vessels and into tissues. ICAM-1 is constitutively present on endothelial cells, but its expression is increased by proinflammatory cytokines. The endothelial expression of ICAM-1 is increased in atherosclerotic and transplant-associated atherosclerotic tissue and in animal models of atherosclerosis. Additionally, ICAM-1 has been implicated in the progression of autoimmune diseases. ICAM-1 is a ligand for LFA-1(integrin). When activated, leukocytes bind to endothelial cells via ICAM-1/LFA-1 interaction and then transmigrate into tissues. Presence with heavy glycosylation and other structural characteristics, ICAM-1 possesses binding sites for a number of immune-associated ligands and serves as the binding site for entry of the major group of human Rhinovirus (HRV) into various cell types. ICAM-1 also becomes known for its affinity for Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (PFIE), providing more of a role in infectious disease. Previous studies have shown that ICAM-1 is involved in inflammatory reactions and that a defect in ICAM-1 gene inhibits allergic contact hypersensitivity.
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