Integrin αIIbβ3 outside-in signaling

Tom N. Durrant, Marion T. van den Bosch and Ingeborg Hers


Integrin αIIbβ3 is a highly abundant heterodimeric platelet receptor that can transmit information bidirectionally across the plasma membrane, and plays a critical role in hemostasis and thrombosis. Upon platelet activation, inside-out signaling pathways increase the affinity of αIIbβ3 for fibrinogen and other ligands. Ligand binding and integrin clustering subsequently stimulate outside-in signaling, which initiates and amplifies a range of cellular events driving essential platelet processes such as spreading, thrombus consolidation and clot retraction. Integrin αIIbβ3 has served as an excellent model for the study of integrin biology, and it has become clear that integrin outside-in signaling is highly complex and involves a vast array of enzymes, signaling adaptors and cytoskeletal components. In this review, we provide a concise but comprehensive overview of αIIbβ3 outside-in signaling, focussing on the key players involved, and how they cooperate to orchestrate this critical aspect of platelet biology. We also discuss gaps in the current understanding of αIIbβ3 outside-in signaling and highlight avenues for future investigation.

  • Submitted March 15, 2017.
  • Accepted August 2, 2017.