Integrins are a large family of heterodimeric transmembrane receptors that mediate cell-substratum adhesion. αvβ6 is an epithelial-specific integrin that is a receptor for the extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins fibronectin, vitronectin, tenascin and the latency associated peptide (LAP) of TGF-β. Integrin αvβ6 is not expressed in healthy adult epithelia but is upregulated during wound healing and in cancer. αvβ6 has been shown to modulate invasion, inhibit apoptosis, regulate the expression of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) and activate TGF-β1. There is increasing evidence, primarily from in vitro studies, that suggest that αvβ6 may actually promote carcinoma progression. In this review we summarize what has been learnt in the past few years about the role of αvβ6 in cancer progression.
Current Drug Targets aims to cover the latest and most outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology of molecular drug targets e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will be devoted to a single timely topic, with series of in-depth reviews, written by leaders in the field, covering a range of current topics on drug targets. These issues will be organized and led by a guest editor who is a recognized expert in the overall topic. As the discovery, identification, characterisation and validation of novel human drug targets for drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.