Integrins in cell migration--the actin connection

J Cell Sci. 2009 Jan 15;122(Pt 2):199-206. doi: 10.1242/jcs.018564.


The connection between integrins and actin is driving the field of cell migration in new directions. Integrins and actin are coupled through a physical linkage, which provides traction for migration. Recent studies show the importance of this linkage in regulating adhesion organization and development. Actin polymerization orchestrates adhesion assembly near the leading edge of a migrating cell, and the dynamic cross-linking of actin filaments promotes adhesion maturation. Breaking the linkage between actin and integrins leads to adhesion disassembly. Recent quantitative studies have revealed points of slippage in the linkage between actin and integrins, showing that it is not always efficient. Regulation of the assembly and organization of adhesions and their linkage to actin relies on signaling pathways that converge on components that control actin polymerization and organization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Actins
  • Integrins