Members of the integrin family of cell adhesion receptors influence several important aspects of cancer cell behavior, including motility and invasiveness, cell growth, and cell survival. Engagement of integrins with extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins can activate members of the Rho-family of small GTPases; conversely, Rho- and Ras-family proteins can influence the ability of integrins to bind their ligands. These events impinge on the control of cell motility, and ultimately on invasive and metastatic behavior. Integrin engagement with ECM also has important effects on cell survival, particularly for cells of epithelial origin. In some cases, specific integrins have selective effects on the efficiency of signal transduction in cell survival pathways.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.