Degrading devices: invadosomes in proteolytic cell invasion

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2011:27:185-211. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-092910-154216. Epub 2011 Jul 21.


Podosomes and invadopodia, collectively known as invadosomes, are cell-matrix contacts in a variety of cell types, such as monocytic cells or cancer cells, that have to cross tissue barriers. Both structures share an actin-rich core, which distinguishes them from other matrix contacts, and are regulated by a multitude of signaling pathways including RhoGTPases, kinases, actin-associated proteins, and microtubule-dependent transport. Invadosomes recruit and secrete proteinases and are thus able to lyse extracellular matrix components. They are therefore considered to be potential key structures in proteolytic cell invasion in both physiological and pathological settings. This review provides an overview of the field, with special focus on current developments such as intracellular transport processes, ultrastructural analysis, the possible involvement of invadosomes in disease, and the tentative identification of invadosomes in 3D environments and in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Surface Extensions / metabolism*
  • Cell Surface Extensions / ultrastructure
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Myosins / metabolism
  • Organelles / metabolism
  • Organelles / ultrastructure
  • Proteolysis
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Actins
  • Myosins