The 'ins' and 'outs' of podosomes and invadopodia: characteristics, formation and function

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Jun 23;12(7):413-26. doi: 10.1038/nrm3141.


Podosomes and invadopodia are actin-based dynamic protrusions of the plasma membrane of metazoan cells that represent sites of attachment to - and degradation of - the extracellular matrix. The key proteins in these structures include the actin regulators cortactin and neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP), the adaptor proteins Tyr kinase substrate with four SH3 domains (TKS4) and Tyr kinase substrate with five SH3 domains (TKS5), and the metalloprotease membrane type 1 matrix metalloprotease (MT1MMP; also known as MMP14). Many cell types can produce these structures, including invasive cancer cells, vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells, and immune cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells. Recently, progress has been made in our understanding of the regulatory and functional aspects of podosome and invadopodium biology and their role in human disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cell Surface Extensions / metabolism*
  • Cell Surface Extensions / physiology*
  • Cell Surface Extensions / ultrastructure
  • Cortactin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Cortactin
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein