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.
Keywords: Integrin, cancer, Twist, ILK, MMP, epigenetic, HoxD3
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