The ability to connect to the actin cytoskeleton is a key part of the adhesive function of integrins. This linkage between integrins and the cytoskeleton involves a large complex of integrin-associated proteins that function in both the assembly and disassembly of the link. Genetic evidence has helped to clarify the relative contributions of different components of this link. In different contexts integrins can either stimulate or suppress actin based structures, indicating the variety of pathways leading from integrins to the cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton also contributes to the extent of the integrin junction, allowing an adhesive contact to attain sufficient strength to resist contractile forces involved in cellular movement and function.