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Int J Cell Biol. 2012;2012:310616. doi: 10.1155/2012/310616. Epub 2012 Jan 26.

Turnover of focal adhesions and cancer cell migration.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Setsunan University, 45-1 Nagaotoge-cho, Hirakata, Osaka 573-0101, Japan.


Cells are usually surrounded by the extracellular matrix (ECM), and adhesion of the cells to the ECM is a key step in their migration through tissues. Integrins are important receptors for the ECM and form structures called focal adhesions (FAs). Formation and disassembly of FAs are regulated dynamically during cell migration. Adhesion to the ECM has been studied mainly using cells cultured on an ECM-coated substratum, where the rate of cell migration is determined by the turnover of FAs. However, the molecular events underlying the disassembly of FAs are less well understood. We have recently identified both a new regulator of this disassembly process and its interaction partners. Here, we summarize our understanding of FA disassembly by focusing on the proteins implicated in this process.

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