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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 125278, 25 pages
Review Article

Integrin-Mediated Cell-Matrix Interaction in Physiological and Pathological Blood Vessel Formation

Center for Molecular Medicine, Department of Vascular Matrix Biology, Excellence Cluster Cardio-Pulmonary System, J. W. Goethe University Hospital, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, Building 9 b, 60590 Frankfurt, Germany

Received 25 May 2011; Accepted 15 July 2011

Academic Editor: Debabrata Mukhopadhyay

Copyright © 2012 Stephan Niland and Johannes A. Eble. 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.


Physiological as well as pathological blood vessel formation are fundamentally dependent on cell-matrix interaction. Integrins, a family of major cell adhesion receptors, play a pivotal role in development, maintenance, and remodeling of the vasculature. Cell migration, invasion, and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) are integrin-regulated processes, and the expression of certain integrins also correlates with tumor progression. Recent advances in the understanding of how integrins are involved in the regulation of blood vessel formation and remodeling during tumor progression are highlighted. The increasing knowledge of integrin function at the molecular level, together with the growing repertoire of integrin inhibitors which allow their selective pharmacological manipulation, makes integrins suited as potential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets.