Integrin: Basement membrane adhesion by corneal epithelial and endothelial cells. Exp Eye Res 2020;:108138.Abstract.
Integrins mediate adhesion of cells to substrates and maintain tissue integrity by facilitating mechanotransduction between cells, the extracellular matrix, and gene expression in the nucleus. Changes in integrin expression in corneal epithelial cells and corneal endothelial cells impacts their adhesion to the epithelial basement membrane (EpBM) and Descemet's membrane, respectively. Integrins also play roles in assembly of basement membranes by both activating TGFβ1 and other growth factors. Over the past two decades, this knowledge has been translated into methods to grow corneal epithelial and endothelial cells in vitro for transplantation in the clinic thereby transforming clinical practice and quality of life for patients. Current knowledge on the expression and function of the integrins that mediate adhesion to the basement membrane expressed by corneal epithelial and endothelial cells in health and disease is summarized. This is the first review to discuss similarities and differences in the integrins expressed by both cell types.