Integrin activation is essential for cell adhesion and for connecting the extracellular matrix to the actin cytoskeleton. Thus, inappropriate integrin activation has been linked to several diseases, including cancer. Recent insights demonstrate that the main fibrillar adhesion component tensin maintains β1-integrin active in these mature adhesions. Depletion or silencing of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), the energy sensor involved in maintaining the energy balance of the cell, enhances integrin activity by increasing the expression of tensin and thereby promoting cell adhesion, matrix formation, and mechanotransduction. Here, we discuss the role of tensin and AMPK in the regulation of integrin activity and integrin-dependent processes and their implication in diseases such as cancer and tissue fibrosis.
Keywords: AMPK; cancer; fibrillar adhesions; fibrosis; integrin activity; tensin.
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