Alphavbeta6 integrin in wound healing and cancer of the oral cavity

J Oral Pathol Med. 2006 Jan;35(1):1-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2005.00374.x.


Integrins are a family of heterodimeric cell surface receptors, which are expressed on most cells where they mediate cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions. The alphavbeta6 integrin is epithelial-specific and binds to the ECM proteins fibronectin, vitronectin and tenascin, and also to the latency associated peptide of TGF-beta. Unlike most epithelial integrins, alphavbeta6 is not expressed constitutively by healthy oral epithelia, but is up-regulated during tissue remodelling, including that accompanying wound healing and carcinogenesis. Although, the data at present have been generated principally from in vitro studies, there is increasing evidence to suggest that alphavbeta6 may promote carcinoma progression: alphavbeta6 has been shown to modulate invasion, inhibit apoptosis, regulate protease expression and activate TGF-beta1. This review examines the current literature, and discusses the possible role of alphavbeta6 in wound healing, and in the development and progression of oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / physiology*
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / physiopathology
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Humans
  • Integrins / physiology*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Up-Regulation / physiology
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Integrins
  • TGFB1 protein, human
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • integrin alphavbeta6