Integrins in angiogenesis: multitalented molecules in a balancing act
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Over the last 10–15 years the varied roles of cell adhesion molecules in the development of new blood vessels have received extensive attention. To date, more than 500 publications have been dedicated specifically to the role of a single family of adhesion molecules, namely integrins, in the process of angiogenesis. Although one can now appreciate the involvement of integrins in this process, and indeed antagonists of integrins are presently being tested as anti-angiogenic treatments, the precise regulation and exact action of integrins is still unclear. Here we will clarify the varied role of integrins and aim to elucidate and simplify the combined functions of these molecules in angiogenesis.