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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 189; doi:10.3390/ijms18010189

Integrins and Cell Metabolism: An Intimate Relationship Impacting Cancer

Department of Chemistry and Biology, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Graduate Program in Molecular Science, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science of St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Anthony Lemarié and Sylvie Monferran
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 26 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrins in Cancer)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [984 KB, uploaded 18 January 2017]   |  


Integrins are important regulators of cell survival, proliferation, adhesion and migration. Once activated, integrins establish a regulated link between the extracellular matrix and the cytoskeleton. Integrins have well-established functions in cancer, such as in controlling cell survival by engagement of many specific intracellular signaling pathways and in facilitating metastasis. Integrins and associated proteins are regulated by control of transcription, membrane traffic, and degradation, as well as by a number of post-translational modifications including glycosylation, allowing integrin function to be modulated to conform to various cellular needs and environmental conditions. In this review, we examine the control of integrin function by cell metabolism, and the impact of this regulation in cancer. Within this context, nutrient sufficiency or deprivation is sensed by a number of metabolic signaling pathways such as AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) 1, which collectively control integrin function by a number of mechanisms. Moreover, metabolic flux through specific pathways also controls integrins, such as by control of integrin glycosylation, thus impacting integrin-dependent cell adhesion and migration. Integrins also control various metabolic signals and pathways, establishing the reciprocity of this regulation. As cancer cells exhibit substantial changes in metabolism, such as a shift to aerobic glycolysis, enhanced glucose utilization and a heightened dependence on specific amino acids, the reciprocal regulation of integrins and metabolism may provide important clues for more effective treatment of various cancers. View Full-Text
Keywords: AMPK; mTOR; HIF1; membrane traffic; glycosylation; hypoxia; nutrient deficit; cancer metabolism; metabolic stress AMPK; mTOR; HIF1; membrane traffic; glycosylation; hypoxia; nutrient deficit; cancer metabolism; metabolic stress

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Ata, R.; Antonescu, C.N. Integrins and Cell Metabolism: An Intimate Relationship Impacting Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 189.

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