Crossroads of integrins and cadherins in epithelia and stroma remodeling

Cell Adh Migr. 2012 May-Jun;6(3):261-73. doi: 10.4161/cam.20253. Epub 2012 May 1.


Adhesion events mediated by cadherin and integrin adhesion receptors have fundamental roles in the maintenance of the physiological balance of epithelial tissues, and it is well established that perturbations in their normal functional activity and/or changes in their expression are associated with tumorigenesis. Over the last decades, increasing evidence of a dynamic collaborative interaction between these complexes through their shared interactions with cytoskeletal proteins and common signaling pathways has emerged not only as an important regulator of several aspects of epithelial cell behavior, but also as a coordinated adhesion module that senses and transmits signals from and to the epithelia surrounding microenvironment. The tight regulation of their crosstalk is particularly important during epithelial remodeling events that normally take place during morphogenesis and tissue repair, and when defective it leads to cell transformation and aggravated responses of the tumor microenvironment that contribute to tumorigenesis. In this review we highlight some of the interactions that regulate their crosstalk and how this could be implicated in regulating signals across epithelial tissues to sustain homeostasis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cadherins / physiology*
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Epithelium / pathology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology
  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Integrins / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Cadherins
  • Integrins