Integrins form the major family of proteins that mediates cell-matrix interactions. As well as an adhesive function, it is increasingly apparent that integrins can transduce messages via classic signalling pathways and impact upon such fundamental cellular processes as proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, and motility. Dysregulation of these processes are a feature of many malignancies. Altered integrin expression has been observed in many human tumours, and perturbation of integrin function or expression in experimental systems has demonstrated that altered integrin signalling may directly contribute to the development of the malignant phenotype.
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