Extracellular matrix and integrin signaling in lens development and cataract

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2006 Dec;17(6):759-76. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2006.10.006. Epub 2006 Oct 27.


During development of the vertebrate lens there are dynamic interactions between the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the lens capsule and lens cells. Disruption of the ECM causes perturbation of lens development and cataract. Similarly, changes in cell signaling can result in abnormal ECM and cataract. Integrins are key mediators of ECM signals and recent studies have documented distinct repertoires of integrin expression during lens development, and in anterior subcapsular cataract (ASC) and posterior caspsule opacification (PCO). Increasingly, studies are being directed to investigating the signaling pathways that integrins modulate and have identified Src, focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and integrin-linked kinase (ILK) as downstream kinases that mediate proliferation, differentiation and morphological changes in the lens during development and cataract formation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cataract / genetics
  • Cataract / metabolism*
  • Cataract / physiopathology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Integrins / genetics
  • Integrins / physiology*
  • Lens, Crystalline / embryology*
  • Lens, Crystalline / metabolism
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiopathology*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Integrins