Integrins are heterodimeric transmembrane receptors composed of α and β chains, with an N-terminal extracellular domain forming a globular head corresponding to the ligand binding site. Integrins regulate various cellular functions including adhesion, migration, proliferation, spreading and apoptosis. On platelets, integrins play a central role in adhesion and aggregation on subendothelial matrix proteins of the vascular wall, thereby ensuring hemostasis. Platelet integrins belong either to the β1 family (α2β1, α5β1 and α6β1) or to the β3 family (αIIbβ3 and αvβ3). On resting platelets, integrins can engage their ligands when the latter are immobilized but not in their soluble form. The effects of various agonists promote an inside-out signal in platelets, increasing the affinity of integrins for their ligands and conveying a modest signal reinforcing platelet activation, called outside-in signaling. This outside-in signal ensures platelet adhesion, shape change, granule secretion and aggregation. In this review, we examine the role of each platelet integrin in hemostatic plug formation, hemostasis and arterial thrombosis and also beyond these classical functions, notably in tumor metastasis and sepsis.
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