Integrins are a family of heterodimeric receptors that bind to components of the extracellular matrix and influence cellular processes as varied as proliferation and migration. These effects are achieved by tight spatiotemporal control over intracellular signalling pathways, including those that mediate cytoskeletal reorganisation. The ability of integrins to bind to ligands is governed by integrin conformation, or activity, and this is widely acknowledged to be an important route to the regulation of integrin function. Over the last 15 years, however, the pathways that regulate endocytosis and recycling of integrins have emerged as major players in controlling integrin action, and studying integrin trafficking has revealed fresh insight into the function of this fascinating class of extracellular matrix receptors, in particular in the context of cell migration and invasion. Here, we review our current understanding of the contribution of integrin trafficking to cell motility.
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