Integrins are a family of cellular transmembrane proteins that mediate adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM). They exist as heterodimers with an α and β subunit. Binding to the ECM can elicit a variety of cellular responses such as cell cytoskeleton changes, growth, division, survival, differentiation and apoptosis. Signaling is medited by integrin direct binding to molecules such as FAK (focal adhesion kinase), src kinase family members, talin, vinculin, paxillin, and alpha-actinin. Integrin signaling also modulates signaling from receptor tyrosine kinases, such as those that bind to VEGF and EGF.
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