Cell integrins: commonly used receptors for diverse viral pathogens

Trends Microbiol. 2007 Nov;15(11):500-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2007.10.001. Epub 2007 Nov 7.


When searching for their favorite host tissues, animal viruses frequently attach to cell-surface receptors that have key roles in normal cell physiology. Integrins are prime examples of physiologically important receptors that have been usurped by nonenveloped and enveloped viruses for attachment and/or cell entry. This family of heterodimeric receptors mediates cell adhesion, cell migration, tumor metastasis and cell differentiation. Recent investigations have shed new light on integrin structure as well as on the underlying molecular features of their association with viral ligands. In this review, we discuss several examples of virus-integrin interactions that highlight recent advances in this field. The continuing improvements in virus and cell imaging techniques have helped to uncover the molecular basis of how integrins are recognized by such a wide range of microbial pathogens to invade host cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Integrins / chemistry
  • Integrins / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, Virus / chemistry
  • Receptors, Virus / physiology*
  • Virus Diseases / virology*
  • Virus Internalization*
  • Virus Physiological Phenomena*


  • Integrins
  • Receptors, Virus