Role of fibronectin in adhesion, migration, and metastasis

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Adhesive macromolecules of the extracellular matrix regulate cellular migration, differentiation, and growth. They also contribute actively to the pathogenesis of diseases characterized by aberrant adhesion, including cancer. One of the most well characterized adhesion factors is the glycoprotein fibronectin; biochemical analyses of this molecule have substantially improved our understanding of how cells adhere, migrate, and invade, and it is now thought that fibronectin plays a key role in the tissue remodeling and cell migration events that occur during normal embryonic development and adult wound healing. In this review, we describe how recent studies, focusing on the basic question of precisely how a cell adheres to fibronectin at the molecular level, have led to insights into the mechanisms of cellular migration by normal and malignant cells and to the development of a novel, synthetic inhibitor of experimental metastasis. We also critically discuss the future prospects for antiadhesive agents in prevention of malignant disease. © 1989 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.

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