Interaction of cells with the extracellular matrix (ECM) results in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation and migration by coordinated signal transduction through integrins and growth-factor receptors. Integrins achieve signalling by interacting with intracellular effectors that couple integrins and growth-factor receptors to downstream components. One well-studied effector is focal-adhesion kinase (FAK), but recently another protein kinase, integrin-linked kinase (ILK), has been identified as a receptor-proximal effector of integrin and growth-factor signalling. ILK appears to interact with and be influenced by a number of different signalling pathways, and this provides new routes for integrin-mediated signalling. This article discusses ILK structure and function and recent genetic and biochemical evidence about the role of ILK in signal transduction.