Regulation and functions of integrin α2 in cell adhesion and disease

Valery Adorno-Cruz, Huiping Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Integrins are cell adhesion molecules that are composed of an alpha (α) subunit and a beta (β) subunit with affinity for different extracellular membrane components. The integrin family includes 24 known members that actively regulate cellular growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Each integrin heterodimer has a particular function in defined contexts as well as some partially overlapping features with other members in the family. As many reviews have covered the general integrin family in molecular and cellular studies in life science, this review will focus on the specific regulation, function, and signaling of integrin α2 subunit (CD49b, VLA-2; encoded by the gene ITGA2) in partnership with β1 (CD29) subunit in normal and cancer cells. Its roles in cell adhesion, cell motility, angiogenesis, stemness, and immune/blood cell regulations are discussed. The pivotal role of integrin α2 in many diseases such as cancer suggests its potential to be used as a novel therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-24
Number of pages9
JournalGenes and Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • CD49b
  • Integrin α2
  • Molecular mechanisms
  • Regulation
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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