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Mol Biosyst. 2011 Sep;7(9):2539-46. doi: 10.1039/c1mb05066d. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

Regulation of integrins by conformation and traffic: it takes two to tango.

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Laboratory of Cell Adhesion Dynamics-IRCC, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment and Department of Oncological Sciences, University of Torino School of Medicine, Strada Provinciale 142, Km 3.95, 10060, Candiolo, Italy.


In multicellular organisms, the execution of complex morphogenetic events, such as gastrulation or vascular morphogenesis, depends on the dynamic modulation of adhesion. Guidance cues, such as chemokines, growth factors, and semaphorins control the attachment of cells to extracellular matrix proteins by regulating the conformational activation of integrin receptors. The endo-exocytic traffic of integrins back and forth from the plasma membrane represents another crucial regulatory aspect in cell adhesion and motility. Recent work added an additional layer of complexity by indicating that distinct molecular machineries are required for trafficking active and inactive integrins.

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