Digging a little deeper: the stages of invadopodium formation and maturation

Eur J Cell Biol. 2014 Oct;93(10-12):438-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2014.07.003. Epub 2014 Jul 21.


Invadopodia are actin-rich protrusions that degrade the extracellular matrix and are required for penetration through the basement membrane, stromal invasion and intravasation. Invadopodia are enriched in actin regulators, such as cortactin, cofilin, N-WASp, Arp2/3 and fascin. Much of the work to date has centered around identifying the proteins involved in regulating actin polymerization and matrix degradation. Recently, there have been significant advances in characterization of the very early stages of invadopodium precursor assembly and the role of adhesion proteins, such as β1 integrin, talin, FAK and Hic-5, in promoting invadopodium maturation. This review summarizes these findings in the context of our current model of invadopodial function and highlights some of the important unanswered questions in the field.

Keywords: Arg; Cdc42; Cofilin; Invadopodia; Invasion; Metastasis; Moesin; NHE-1; Talin; β1 integrin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Surface Extensions / metabolism*
  • Cell Surface Extensions / ultrastructure
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Protein Multimerization


  • Actins