ABOVE: Chinese hamster ovary cells engineered to produce mutant talin protein

Researchers have picked apart what makes cells stick to their surroundings. In experiments using cell lines, they find that the protein talin, part of the cytoskeleton, must attach to the cell membrane to activate another protein, integrin. Integrin, in turn, plays a part in an array of cellular activities, including cell migration and focal adhesion, in which cells stick to the extracellular matrix.

K. Chinthalapudi et al., “The interaction of talin with the cell membrane is essential for integrin activation and focal adhesion formation,” PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1806275115, 2018.

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