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Graphical

Focal adhesionCell junction

Definition

Focal adhesions are sites of tightest adhesion made to the underlying extracellular matrix by cells in culture. They serve a structural role, linking the ECM on the outside to the actin cytoskeleton on the inside. In addition, they are sites of signal transduction, initiating signaling pathways in response to adhesion. Focal adhesions are formed around a transmembrane core of an alpha-beta integrin heterodimer, which binds to a component of the extracellular matrix on its extracellular region, constitutes the site of anchorage of the actin cytoskeleton to the cytoplasmic side of the membrane, and mediates various intracellular signaling pathways.

Category

› Cellular component

GOi

focal adhesion [ GO:0005925 ]
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Main funding by: National Institutes of Health

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