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Eur J Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;87(8-9):491-506. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2008.02.012. Epub 2008 Apr 15.

Podosome-type adhesions and focal adhesions, so alike yet so different.

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Université Joseph Fourier, Institut Albert Bonniot, Equipe DySAD, Grenoble cedex 9, France.


Cell-matrix adhesions are essential for cell migration, tissue organization and differentiation, therefore playing central roles in embryonic development, remodeling and homeostasis of tissues and organs. Matrix adhesion-dependent signals cooperate with other pathways to regulate biological functions such as cell survival, cell proliferation, wound healing, and tumorigenesis. Cell migration and invasion are integrated processes requiring the continuous, coordinated assembly and disassembly of integrin-mediated adhesions. An understanding of how integrins regulate cell migration and invasiveness through the dynamic regulation of adhesions is fundamental to both physiological and pathological situations. A variety of cell-matrix adhesions has been identified, namely, focal complexes, focal adhesions, fibrillar adhesions, podosomes, and invadopodia (podosome-type adhesions). These adhesion sites contain integrin clusters able to develop specialized structures, which are different in their architecture and dynamics although they share almost the same proteins. Here we compare recent advances and developments in the elucidation of the organization and dynamics of focal adhesions and podosome-type adhesions, in order to understand how such subcellular sites - though closely related in their composition - can be structurally and functionally different. The underlying question is how their respective physiological or pathological roles are related to their distinct organization.

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