Integrin-mediated signal transduction pathways

Histol Histopathol. 1999 Jul;14(3):1001-9. doi: 10.14670/HH-14.1001.


Integrins serve as adhesion receptors for extracellular matrix proteins and also transduce biochemical signals into the cell. They regulate a variety of cellular functions, including spreading, migration, proliferation and apoptosis. Many signaling pathways downstream of integrins have been identified and characterized and are discussed here. In particular, integrins regulate many protein tyrosine kinases and phosphatases, such as FAK and Src, to coordinate many of the cell processes mentioned above. The regulation of MAP kinases by integrins is important for cell growth or other functions, and the putative roles of Ras and FAK in these pathways are discussed. Phosphatidylinositol lipids and their modifying enzymes, particularly PI 3-kinase, are strongly implicated as mediators of integrin-regulated cytoskeletal changes and cell migration. Similarly, actin cytoskeleton regulation by the Rho family of GTPases is coordinated with integrin signaling to regulate cell spreading and migration, although the exact relationship between these pathways is not clear. Finally, intracellular pH and calcium fluxes by integrins are suggested to affect a variety of cellular proteins and functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / metabolism
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / metabolism
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins


  • Integrins
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins