focal adhesions

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Punctate adhesions (~1 × 0.2 μm) of cells with matrix-coated substratum, associated with intracellular microfilament bundles (stress fibres) and a complex of proteins such as vinculin and talin on the cytoplasmic face. They are oriented with the long axis parallel to the direction of movement and tend to be characteristic of slow-moving cells. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK; cytoplasmic protein tyrosine kinase, PTK2, EC, 1052 aa) is a kinase that is concentrated in focal adhesions. It is activated by phosphorylation, primarily by src-kinase, and activity is important for spreading and motility of fibroblasts, neurites and myocytes. A related kinase is PYK2.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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