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Trends Cell Biol. 2007 May;17(5):246-50. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

Rac, membrane heterogeneity, caveolin and regulation of growth by integrins.

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Integrin Signalling Laboratory, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares, Melchor Fernández Almagro 3, Madrid, Spain.


Anchorage dependence of growth blocks cell proliferation in inappropriate environments, thereby inhibiting cancer cell invasion and metastasis. Inhibition of growth regulatory pathways, including Rac, Erk and PtdIns 3-kinase in non-adherent cells mediates this effect. Here, we review recent work showing that integrin-mediated adhesion controls Rac binding to membranes. Rac binding sites can be found within cholesterol-enriched membrane domains, which are internalized when cells are deprived of adhesion. Endocytosis of these domains is mediated by caveolae and regulated by caveolin-1 phosphorylated on Tyr 14. This mechanism can account for the control of multiple pathways by integrins, thus providing an important mechanism for anchorage dependence of growth.

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