Focal adhesion sites

Focal adhesions are large macromolecular assemblies at the plasma membrane through which bundles of actin filaments connect to the extracellular matrix (ECM). Focal adhesions are large and highly dynamic complexes, both in terms of composition and in terms of assembly and disassembly. The connections to the ECM are mediated by clustered integrin receptors, which act as a scaffold to which other components are recruited. Focal adhesions transmit mechanical force as well as regulatory signals between the cell and the ECM, with major implications for cell adhesion, mobility and remodeling of the ECM.

Immunofluorescent staining

Focal adhesions can be seen as dense elongated plaques in the plasma membrane in close association with actin filament bundles, particularly near the surface to which adherent cells are attached.

Read more about the proteome of focal adhesions as a substructure of actin filaments.