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ISRN Cell Biology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 135164, 14 pages
Review Article

Integrin Signaling as a Cancer Drug Target

Division of Toxicology, LACDR, Leiden University, 2333 CC Leiden, The Netherlands

Received 11 June 2013; Accepted 9 July 2013

Academic Editors: D. Arnoult, G. Castoria, K. S. Echtay, and N. Zambrano

Copyright © 2013 Erik H. J. Danen. 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.


Integrins are transmembrane receptors that mediate cell adhesion to neighboring cells and to the extracellular matrix. Here, the various modes in which integrin-mediated adhesion regulates intracellular signaling pathways impinging on cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation are considered. Subsequently, evidence that integrins also control crucial signaling cascades in cancer cells is discussed. Lastly, the important role of integrin signaling in tumor cells as well as in stromal cells that support cancer growth, metastasis, and therapy resistance indicates that integrin signaling may be an attractive target for (combined) cancer therapy strategies. Current approaches to target integrins in this context are reviewed.