Integrins are receptor molecules for extracellular matrix molecules (e.g., the beta(1) family), serum components (alpha(v) family) and immunoglobulin family adhesion molecules (beta(2) family). Integrin-dependent adhesion has also been shown to have metabolic consequences. Adhesion to a variety of extracellular matrix proteins, such as fibronectin, collagen, and laminin, is a potent regulator of cell growth, differentiation, and gene expression. Ligand binding or aggregation of integrin receptors initiates a number of metabolic changes including activation of serine/threonine and tyrosine kinases, increased Ca2+ influx, increased cytoplasmic alkalinization, and altered inositol lipid metabolism. In some instances activation of transcription factors and induction of gene expression have also been demonstrated. Components of key signaling pathways involving integrins are beginning to be identified. Some studies have shown that integrins form multi-component complexes with signal transduction molecules. Elucidating the interactions of the signal transduction molecules with each other and with the integrin cytoplasmic domains will be key to understanding the initial events of signal transduction through the integrins.