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Cancer Lett. 2007 Mar 8;247(1):1-25. Epub 2006 May 24.

Integrin signaling in epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Although most cells of adult mammals express multiple different integrins, particular types of cells have a characteristic repertoire of integrin expression. Benign and malignant epithelial cells use specific integrins to allow the epithelial microenvironment to modulate a wide variety of cell functions, including cell survival, proliferation, morphogenesis, differentiation, motility, invasion and metastasis. An important concept emerging from the data on integrin signal transduction is that integrin signaling impinges on pathways downstream of other receptors, creating elaborate intracellular signaling networks. This review highlights signal transduction functions of epithelial integrins, with particular emphasis on signaling pathways underlying some of the most important functions of epithelium.

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