ConFERMing the role of talin in integrin activation and mechanosignaling

Michael Bachmann, Baihao Su, Rolle Rahikainen, Vesa P. Hytönen, Jinhua Wu, Bernhard Wehrle-Haller

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Talin (herein referring to the talin-1 form), is a cytoskeletal adapter protein that binds integrin receptors and F-actin, and is a key factor in the formation and regulation of integrin-dependent cell-matrix adhesions. Talin forms the mechanical link between the cytoplasmic domain of integrins and the actin cytoskeleton. Through this linkage, talin is at the origin of mechanosignaling occurring at the plasma membrane-cytoskeleton interface. Despite its central position, talin is not able to fulfill its tasks alone, but requires help from kindlin and paxillin to detect and transform the mechanical tension along the integrin-talin-F-actin axis into intracellular signaling. The talin head forms a classical FERM domain, which is required to bind and regulate the conformation of the integrin receptor, as well as to induce intracellular force sensing. The FERM domain allows the strategic positioning of protein-protein and protein-lipid interfaces, including the membrane-binding and integrin affinityregulating F1 loop, as well as the interaction with lipid-anchored Rap1 (Rap1a and Rap1b in mammals) GTPase. Here, we summarize the structural and regulatory features of talin and explain how it regulates cell adhesion and force transmission, as well as intracellular signaling at integrin-containing cell-matrix attachment sites.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjcs260576
Number of pages11
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Actin
  • Adhesion
  • Kindlin
  • Paxillin
  • PIP2
  • Rap1
  • RIAM
  • Signaling
  • Vinculin

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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