Actin-membrane interaction in focal adhesions

Keith Burridge, Glen Nuckolls, Carol Otey, Fredrick Pavalko, Keiko Simon, Christopher Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Focal adhesions are regions of the plasma membrane where cells in tissue culture adhere strongly to the underlying extracellular matrix, and which at their cytoplasmic face serve to anchor bundles of actin microfilaments. They provide an experimental model for studying the links between the cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix. Members of the integrin family of extracellular matrix receptors are prominent components, spanning the membrane in focal adhesions, but there is evidence that other membrane components are also needed for these structures to form. A number of proteins are concentrated at the cytoplasmic face of focal adhesions. Recent efforts have sought to determine the links between actin and the integrin cytoplasmic domains. Using in vitro binding assays, two potential bridges between actin and integrin have been identified. One involves talin, which has recently been shown to bind actin directly. The other involves the actin-binding protein, α-actinin, which has been found to interact with several integrins. The physiological significance of these two potential bridges between actin and integrin remains to be determined in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalCell Differentiation and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 11 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Integrin
  • Talin
  • α-Actinin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology

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