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Integrins in cell migration – the actin connection
Miguel Vicente-Manzanares, Colin Kiwon Choi, Alan Rick Horwitz


The connection between integrins and actin is driving the field of cell migration in new directions. Integrins and actin are coupled through a physical linkage, which provides traction for migration. Recent studies show the importance of this linkage in regulating adhesion organization and development. Actin polymerization orchestrates adhesion assembly near the leading edge of a migrating cell, and the dynamic cross-linking of actin filaments promotes adhesion maturation. Breaking the linkage between actin and integrins leads to adhesion disassembly. Recent quantitative studies have revealed points of slippage in the linkage between actin and integrins, showing that it is not always efficient. Regulation of the assembly and organization of adhesions and their linkage to actin relies on signaling pathways that converge on components that control actin polymerization and organization.


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  • The authors acknowledge the work from many colleagues who were not cited because of space constraints. This work was supported by NIH grants GM23244 and the Cell Migration Consortium (U54 GM064346). Deposited in PMC for release after 12 months.

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