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International Journal of Cell Biology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 219196, 8 pages
Review Article

Alterations in Cell-Extracellular Matrix Interactions during Progression of Cancers

1Department of Biochemistry, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur 522510, India
2Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500 007, India

Received 3 August 2011; Revised 13 October 2011; Accepted 14 October 2011

Academic Editor: Jun Chung

Copyright © 2012 Rajeswari Jinka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cancer progression is a multistep process during which normal cells exhibit molecular changes that culminate into the highly malignant and metastatic phenotype, observed in cancerous tissues. The initiation of cell transformation is generally associated with genetic alterations in normal cells that lead to the loss of intercellular- and/or extracellular-matrix- (ECM-) mediated cell adhesion. Transformed cells undergo rapid multiplication and generate more modifications in adhesion and motility-related molecules which allow them to escape from the original site and acquire invasive characteristics. Integrins, which are multifunctional adhesion receptors, and are present, on normal as well as transformed cells, assist the cells undergoing tumor progression in creating the appropriate environment for their survival, growth, and invasion. In this paper, we have briefly discussed the role of ECM proteins and integrins during cancer progression and described some unique conditions where adhesion-related changes could induce genetic mutations in anchorage-independent tumor model systems.