[The endothelial podosome]

Med Sci (Paris). 2009 Feb;25(2):168-74. doi: 10.1051/medsci/2009252168.
[Article in French]


Podosomes are highly dynamic adhesion microdomains formed at the ventral membrane of some monocyte-derived cells. Structurally, their most distinguishing feature is their two-part architecture, consisting in a core of F-actin and actin-associated proteins, surrounded by a ring structure consisting of plaque proteins as well as signalling proteins. In addition to the presence of specific markers, they are distinguished from other adhesion structures by the presence of metalloproteases, endowing them with the ability to degrade the extracellular matrix. Invadopodia are related structures, of similar molecular composition but of distinct architecture, made by fibroblasts or epithelial cells transformed by the v-src oncogene or aggressive carcinoma cells. Such membrane-associated cellular devices, now named invadosomes, are thought to have a central role in mediating polarized migration in cells that cross anatomical boundaries. Podosomes have now been shown to form in endothelial cells, non monocytic and non tumoral cells, endowed with tissue invasive activities during vascular remodelling. Here, we summarize the recent advances and developments in this field, discuss how endothelial podosomes combine specificities of monocytic podosomes and invadopodia and provide our provisional outlook into the future understanding of endothelial podosomes.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Extracellular Matrix / enzymology
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Microdomains / physiology*
  • Metalloproteases / metabolism
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Monocytes / physiology*


  • Actins
  • Metalloproteases