Indexed on: 10 Dec '14Published on: 10 Dec '14Published in: Cell and Tissue Research
Integrin receptors mediate the interactions between cells and the extracellular matrix. They not only provide anchorage and a physical linkage to the matrix but also participate in cell signaling and the regulation of diverse cellular functions. In the epidermis of the skin, integrins are essential for tissue structure and integrity, and, under normal homeostatic conditions, the β1 subunit specifically controls the balance between proliferation and terminal differentiation. Integrin expression can also dynamically respond to changes in the cell's environment, and integrin-mediated adhesion is required for keratinocyte migration and re-epithelialization during wound repair. Importantly, integrins participate in keratinocyte mechanotransduction and could potentially regulate cell behavior within the altered mechanical microenvironment of a wound. While the complete functions of integrin receptors in cutaneous wound healing have yet to be determined, recent evidence suggests that cell-matrix interactions are perturbed in chronic and non-healing wounds. Integrins may therefore be a potential therapeutic target for improving wound repair and tissue regeneration.