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Science. 1999 Nov 5;286(5442):1172-4.

Focal adhesion motility revealed in stationary fibroblasts.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Focal adhesions (FAs) are clustered integrins and associated proteins that mediate cell adhesion and signaling. A green fluorescent protein-beta1 integrin chimera was used to label FAs in living cells. In stationary cells, FAs were highly motile, moving linearly for several plaque lengths toward the cell center. FA motility was independent of cell density and resulted from contraction of associated actin fibers. In migrating cells, FAs were stationary and only moved in the tail. FA motility in stationary cells suggests that cell movement may be regulated by a clutch-like mechanism by which the affinity of integrins to substrate may be altered in response to migratory cues.

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