Invadopodia: Interface for Invasion
The term invadopodia is essentially a functional definition linking membrane protrusions with proteolysis of the matrix at focused points beneath cells cultured on two-dimensional ECM matrices. Their molecular definition awaits more complete characterization of the interactions of molecular components that organize into morphologically distinct structures recognized by characteristic actin/cortactin cores which subsequently attain a proteolytic functionality that facilitates cellular invasion. Because of their similarity to podosomes and because there are progressive stages in the formation of invadopodia, confusion exists regarding the precise definition of invadopodia. In this chapter, we discuss sources of confusion prevalent in the literature to date, delineate characteristic features of invadopodia, review molecular components required for invadopodia-mediated matrix degradation, and discuss the assembly of functional invadopodia and the relationship of the invadopodia membrane to the actin/cortactin core. Finally, we discuss what is known about the functional consequences of invadopodia-mediated matrix degradation and the role of proteases associated with invadopodia in cellular interaction with other cells and the matrix, and their contribution to the tumor microenvironment.
KeywordsBreast Cancer Cell Cell Biol Melanoma Cell Matrix Degradation Time Lapse Imaging
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