Podosomes: adhesion hot-spots of invasive cells

Trends Cell Biol. 2003 Jul;13(7):376-85. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(03)00128-4.


Podosomes are highly dynamic, actin-rich adhesion structures of monocyte-derived cells, certain transformed fibroblasts and carcinoma cells and have recently also been discovered in an increasing number of other cell types. Because they are found mainly in motile cells and control the activity of matrix metalloproteases, podosomes are thought to contribute to tissue invasion and matrix remodeling. Importantly, podosomes are physiologically relevant organelles because they can be found in ex vivo models of invasive cells. Regulators of podosome turnover include tyrosine kinases, RhoGTPases, actin regulators and the microtubule system. Podosomes might also serve as an attractive model to study how integration of various signaling pathways controls actin dynamics. Here, we summarize and discuss the known structural, regulatory and functional features of podosomes, our aim being to stimulate further research into these unique structures.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Surface Extensions / metabolism*
  • Cell Surface Extensions / ultrastructure
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism*
  • Eukaryotic Cells / ultrastructure
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Phosphorylation
  • Signal Transduction / physiology