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Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 305, Issue 3, pp 285–298 | Cite as

Function and interactions of integrins

  • Arjan van der Flier
  • Arnoud Sonnenberg
Review

Abstract.

Integrins are heterodimeric cell adhesion molecules that link the extracellular matrix to the cytoskeleton. The integrin family in man comprises 24 members, which are the result of different combinations of 1 of 18 α- and 1 of 8 β-subunits. Alternative splicing of mRNA of some α- and β-subunits and postranslational modifications of integrin subunits further increase the diversity of the integrin family. In their capacity as adhesion receptors that organize the cytoskeleton, integrins play an important role in controlling various steps in the signaling pathways that regulate processes as diverse as proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and cell migration. The intracellular signals that lead to these effects may be transduced via cytoplasmic components, which have been identified as integrin-binding proteins in yeast two-hybrid screens and which could mediate the coupling of integrins to intracellular signaling pathways. In this review an overview is given of the function and ligand-binding properties of integrins as well as of proteins that associate with integrins and may play a role in their signaling function.

Integrin Extracellular matrix Cell adhesion Focal adhesion Signaling 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arjan van der Flier
    • 1
  • Arnoud Sonnenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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