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Interpreting the Mechanisms by which Integrins Promote the Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Integrin Application Prospects

Transmembrane integrin receptors represent a major composition of cell- extracellular matrix (ECM) communications that mediate cellular biological activities including proliferation and differentiation. Stem cells, especially mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have rapidly emerged as promising therapies for various diseases. Dynamic links exist between extracellular and intracellular environments that profoundly influence the cellular activities via integrin receptors, such as cell morphology transformation and differentiation. Interpreting the roles of integrin receptors in the regulation of MSC differentiation may potentially lead to amplified therapeutic effect. In this review, we summarize, for the first time, the potential mechanisms by which integrins promote MSC multilineage differentiation including integrin downstream signaling cascades and the interactions between integrin and ion channels, the cytoskeleton and nuclear mechanoresponses. Furthermore, we focus on the current state and future prospects of the application of integrins to promote cell differentiation.

Journal Title: Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy

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