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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2008 Apr;20(2):235-41. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Mar 11.

Assembly and biological role of podosomes and invadopodia.

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Unit of Actin Cytoskeleton Regulation, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Department of Cell Biology and Oncology, Via Nazionale 8a, 66030 Santa Maria Imbaro Chieti, Italy.


Regulated tissue invasion via motile and lytic events is critical for physiological processes such as immune system function and inflammatory responses, wound healing, and organ development, but pathological subversion of this process drives tumour cell invasion and metastasis. Cell migration and invasion require the integration of several processes that include: first, the local modulation of cytoskeleton structure and contractile forces; second, the turnover of substrate adhesions and their associated microfilaments; and third, the generation of specialised, transient domains that mediate the protease-dependent focal degradation of the extracellular matrix. Recent work has re-discovered prominent actin-based cellular structures, termed invadopodia and podosomes, as unique structural and functional modules through which major invasive mechanisms are regulated. The stage is now set to unravel their roles in the physiology and pathology of tissue plasticity and repair.

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