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Semin Cancer Biol. 2001 Apr;11(2):129-41.

Towards a mechanistic understanding of tumor invasion--lessons from the alpha6beta 4 integrin.

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Division of Cancer Biology and Angiogenesis, Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


This review explores the mechanistic basis of carcinoma migration and invasion by focusing on the contribution of integrins. Integrins are essential for invasion not only for their ability to mediate physical interactions with extracellular matrices, but also for their ability to regulate signaling pathways that control actin dynamics and cell movement, as well as for growth and survival. Our comments center on a unique member of the integrin family, the alpha 6 beta 4 integrin, which is a receptor for the laminin family of basement membrane components. Numerous studies have implicated this integrin in the invasion of solid tumors and have provided a rationale for studying the mechanistic basis of its contribution to the invasive process. Such studies have revealed novel insights into the mechanism of carcinoma invasion that involve both the dynamics of cell migration and signaling pathways that regulate this migration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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