To investigate the role of beta1 integrins in pancreatic carcinoma invasion, we analyzed the relationship between the activity of beta1 integrins and the invasive ability of human pancreatic carcinoma cell lines. AsPC1, BxPC3, PANC1, SU8686, KP1NL, KP2, and H48N cells had high expression of beta1 and alpha6 subunits, and various levels of alpha2, alpha3, and alpha5 expression as determined by flow cytometry. Cell adhesion assay revealed that alpha2beta1, alpha5beta1, and alpha6beta1 integrins were the predominant adhesion receptors for collagen, fibronectin, and laminin, respectively. Beta1 integrins on different cell types showed a wide range of constitutive activity. Anti-beta1 monoclonal antibody (MAB) TS2/16 rapidly activated beta1 integrins, and thus TS2/16 requirement in cell adhesion represented the levels of constitutive activity of beta1 integrins. Notably, as the result of in vitro chemoinvasion assay, the levels of constitutive activity of beta1 integrins correlated with the invasive ability of pancreatic carcinoma cells. The inhibitory anti-beta1 MAB 13 completely blocked the invasion of these cell lines. Alternatively, the stimulatory anti-beta1 MAB TS2/16 strongly inhibited the invasion. These results show an essential role of beta1 integrins in invasion of pancreatic carcinoma cells and also suggest subtle regulatory mechanisms of cell invasion.