Platelets are small anucleated cell fragments that ensure the arrest of bleeding after a vessel wall injury. They are also involved in non-hemostatic function such as development, immunity, inflammation, and in the hematogeneous phase of metastasis. While the role of platelets in tumor metastasis has been recognized for 60 years, the molecular mechanism underlying this process remains largely unclear. Platelets physically and functionally interact with various tumor cells through surface receptors including integrins. Platelets express five integrins at their surface, namely α2β1, α5β1, α6β1, αvβ3, and αIIbβ3, which bind preferentially to collagen, fibronectin, laminin, vitronectin, and fibrinogen, respectively. The main role of platelet integrins is to ensure platelet adhesion and aggregation at sites of vascular injury. Two of these, α6β1 and αIIbβ3, were proposed to participate in platelet–tumor cell interaction and in tumor metastasis. It has also been reported that pharmacological agents targeting both integrins efficiently reduce experimental metastasis, suggesting that platelet integrins may represent new anti-metastatic targets. This review focuses on the role of platelet integrins in tumor metastasis and discusses whether these receptors may represent new potential targets for novel anti-metastatic approaches.
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