Role of integrins in cell invasion and migration

Nat Rev Cancer. 2002 Feb;2(2):91-100. doi: 10.1038/nrc727.


As cancer cells undergo metastasis--invasion and migration of a new tissue--they penetrate and attach to the target tissue's basal matrix. This allows the cancer cell to pull itself forward into the tissue. The attachment is mediated by cell-surface receptors known as integrins, which bind to components of the extracellular matrix. Integrins are crucial for cell invasion and migration, not only for physically tethering cells to the matrix, but also for sending and receiving molecular signals that regulate these processes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Basement Membrane / pathology
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cell Survival
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Integrins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Integrins