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Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2011;27:291-320. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-092910-154017. Epub 2011 Jun 10.

Cooperation between integrins and growth factor receptors in signaling and endocytosis.

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Medical Biotechnology, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, Turku FI-20520, Finland.


All multicellular animals express receptors for growth factors (GFs) and extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules. Integrin-type ECM receptors anchor cells to their surroundings and concomitantly activate intracellular signal transduction pathways. The same signaling mechanisms are regulated by GF receptors (GFRs). Recently, intensive research efforts have revealed novel mechanisms describing how the two receptor systems collaborate at many different levels. Integrins can directly bind to GFs and promote their activation. Adhesion receptors also organize signaling platforms and assist GFRs or even activate them via ligand-independent mechanisms. Furthermore, integrins can orchestrate endocytosis and recycling of GFRs. Here, we review the present knowledge about the interplay between integrins and GFRs and discuss recent ideas of how this collaboration may explain some previous controversies in integrin research.

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