Alterations in the extracellular matrix occur during the cardiac hypertrophic process. Because integrins mediate cell-matrix adhesion and beta(1D)-integrin (beta1D) is expressed exclusively in cardiac and skeletal muscle, we hypothesized that beta1D and focal adhesion kinase (FAK), a proximal integrin-signaling molecule, are involved in cardiac growth. With the use of cultured ventricular myocytes and myocardial tissue, we found the following: 1) beta1D protein expression was upregulated perinatally; 2) alpha(1)-adrenergic stimulation of cardiac myocytes increased beta1D protein levels 350% and altered its cellular distribution; 3) adenovirally mediated overexpression of beta1D stimulated cellular reorganization, increased cell size by 250%, and induced molecular markers of the hypertrophic response; and 4) overexpression of free beta1D cytoplasmic domains inhibited alpha(1)-adrenergic cellular organization and atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) expression. Additionally, FAK was linked to the hypertrophic response as follows: 1) coimmunoprecipitation of beta1D and FAK was detected; 2) FAK overexpression induced ANF-luciferase; 3) rapid and sustained phosphorylation of FAK was induced by alpha(1)-adrenergic stimulation; and 4) blunting of the alpha(1)-adrenergically modulated hypertrophic response was caused by FAK mutants, which alter Grb2 or Src binding, as well as by FAK-related nonkinase, a dominant interfering FAK mutant. We conclude that beta1D and FAK are both components of the hypertrophic response pathway of cardiac myocytes.