Integrins and tumor invasion


  • Shoukat Dedhar

    1. British Columbia Cancer Agency and Department of Pathology, University of British Columbia, 600 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 4E6, Canada
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Cell–extracellular matrix interactions are important in the process of tumor cell invasion and metastasis. In particular, the interactions of tumor cells with basement membranes of tissue epithelial, as well as vascular endothelial, cells are likely to represent key steps in the metastatic process. The interactions between cells and the connective tissue matrix are mediated by a large family of cell surface receptors, the integrins, which represent multiple receptors the integrins, which represent multiple receptors for extracellular matrix and basement membrane components. Here, I review recent progress in elucidating the roles of integrins in tumor cell invasion. Altered expression of this large family of receptors on invasive tumor cells, as compared with non-invasive cells, may represent a fundamental step in the progressive expression of the invasive phenotype.