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Integrins and Cancer: Gene Expression, Epigenetics and Metastasis

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 5 ]


T. Stuardi, S. M.O. Phipps and T. O. Tollefsbol   Pages 323 - 331 ( 9 )


Integrins are composed of a variety of binding subunits that are responsible for interacting with the extracellu-lar matrix and intracellular signaling pathways. Among their various functions, integrins have the ability to augment cellu-lar adhesion, influence cytoskeletal architecture, activate tyrosine kinase and affect cell survival. Many investigations have demonstrated a correlation between the regulation of integrin expression and tumor invasiveness and proliferation. Integrins affect transcription factors Twist and HoxD3, epigenetic regulation, matrix metalloproteinases, insulin-like growth factors, integrin-linked kinases and adherens junctions, which are all important components of tumorigenicity. Cancer cells modify their functional genomic composition thereby altering integrin expression. Understanding the rela-tionship between integrin expression and tumor activities could provide an important strategy for cancer treatment.


Integrin, cancer, Twist, ILK, MMP, epigenetic, HoxD3


Department of Biology, 175 Campbell Hall, 1300 University Boulevard, Univeristy of Alabama at Bir-ingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-1170 USA.

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