Cell-matrix contact points such as focal adhesions are critical for cell migration. In a study published in The Journal of Cell Biology, Staffan Strömblad and colleagues used superresolution microscopy to, for the first time, characterize the nanoscale organization of integrin cell-matrix receptors within focal adhesions. Surprisingly, they found that active (matrix-bound) and inactive (unbound) β1-integrins segregate into distinct nanoclusters within the focal adhesions, suggesting the existence of a novel mechanism for collective integrin activity regulation.

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