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Science. 2009 May 15;324(5929):895-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1163865.

The tail of integrins, talin, and kindlins.

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Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.


Integrins are transmembrane cell-adhesion molecules that carry signals from the outside to the inside of the cell and vice versa. Like other cell surface receptors, integrins signal in response to ligand binding; however, events within the cell can also regulate the affinity of integrins for ligands. This feature is important in physiological situations such as those in blood, in which cells are always in close proximity to their ligands, yet cell-ligand interactions occur only after integrin activation in response to specific external cues. This review focuses on the mechanisms whereby two key proteins, talin and the kindlins, regulate integrin activation by binding the tails of integrin-beta subunits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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