SITE VISIT: Glue of Life

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Science  14 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5464, pp. 223
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5464.223d

The body's adhesion molecules both stick cells together and transmit signals, playing a critical role in everything from wound healing to diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Integrins, a subset of these sticky molecules, are like fasteners that connect the cell's internal scaffolding to the protein matrix outside.

The Integrin Page, run by a grad student in the Netherlands, serves up background on these receptor proteins and the extracellular matrix. It also features a table summing up what's known about the 24 types of glycoprotein subunits that make up integrins, including their size, amino acid sequences, and antibody information. In the site's discussion list, scientists trade questions on everything from integrin weights to binding data. For general information on adhesion molecules, visit Escape to Adhesion, a large collection of links including antibody suppliers, assays, conferences, and molecular biology sites. The site's reference list sums up key papers through 1999. Among outside links is the Cell Adhesion Domain, which contains a dated but still useful directory of research labs.

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