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J Cell Sci. 2008 Jun 1;121(11):1773-83. doi: 10.1242/jcs.018036.

Integrin-dependent phagocytosis: spreading from microadhesion to new concepts.

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  • 1Centre for Molecular Microbiology and Infection and Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, Imperial College London, London, UK.


By linking actin dynamics to extracellular components, integrins are involved in a wide range of cellular processes that are associated with or require cytoskeletal remodelling and cell-shape changes. One such function is integrin-dependent phagocytosis, a process that several integrins are capable of mediating and that allows the binding and clearance of particles. Integrin-dependent phagocytosis is involved in a wide range of physiological processes, from the clearance of microorganisms and apoptotic-cell removal to extracellular-matrix remodelling. Integrin signalling is also exploited by microbial pathogens for entry into host cells. Far from being a particular property of specific integrins and specialised cells, integrin-dependent uptake is emerging as a general, intrinsic ability of most integrins that is associated with their capacity to signal to the actin cytoskeleton. Integrin-mediated phagocytosis can therefore be used as a robust model in which to study integrin regulation and signalling.

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