Endocytic transport of integrins during cell migration and invasion

Trends Cell Biol. 2008 Jun;18(6):257-63. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.03.004. Epub 2008 May 2.


Early studies describing the endocytic-exocytic cycling of integrins prompted proposals that this process regulates cell migration. However, it is only relatively recently that more detailed descriptions of the molecular machinery responsible for directing integrin trafficking have enabled us to properly address the role of these events during the various modes of cell migration. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of the protein complexes and signallosomes controlling integrin trafficking, and we describe how these influence cell migration and signalling events downstream of integrin engagement. Furthermore, we consider recent evidence for integrin trafficking during the invasive migration of cancer cells through 3D microenvironments, and conclude with a discussion of the use of novel photoactivatable integrin probes to visualize these processes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Movement
  • Dimerization
  • Endocytosis*
  • Exocytosis
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Light
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Signal Transduction


  • Integrins
  • Proteins