Biochemical and structural properties of the integrin-associated cytoskeletal protein talin

Annu Rev Biophys. 2009;38:235-54. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biophys.050708.133744.


Interaction of cells with the extracellular matrix is fundamental to a wide variety of biological processes, such as cell proliferation, cell migration, embryogenesis, and organization of cells into tissues, and defects in cell-matrix interactions are an important element in many diseases. Cell-matrix interactions are frequently mediated by the integrin family of cell adhesion molecules, transmembrane alphabeta-heterodimers that are typically linked to the actin cytoskeleton by one of a number of adaptor proteins including talin, alpha-actinin, filamin, tensin, integrin-linked kinase, melusin, and skelemin. The focus of this review is talin, which appears unique among these proteins in that it also induces a conformational change in integrins that is propagated across the membrane, and increases the affinity of the extracellular domain for ligand. Particular emphasis is given to recent progress on the structure of talin, its interaction with binding partners, and its mode of regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Integrins / chemistry*
  • Integrins / ultrastructure*
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Talin / chemistry*
  • Talin / ultrastructure*


  • Integrins
  • Talin