• A panel of four images of cell adhesion
  • A panel of four images of cell adhesion

Welcome to Martin Humphries' lab

My laboratory started by identifying mechanisms of adhesion-dependent growth control and melanoma cell adhesion and metastasis, progressed to structure-function analyses of integrin and syndecan receptors, and is currently using proteomic approaches to define signalling mechanisms originating at the adhesion nexus. This is the structure that connects the extracellular matrix to the intracellular cytoskeleton. Over the past five years, we have made discoveries in three areas: the receptor-transduced signals that control normal and tumour cell migration and invasion, the identity of force sensors within cells, and the mechanisms of microenvironmental sensing in disease.

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New discovery

Cover of Nature Cell Biology, December 2015.

The integrin-actin connection

Horton, E.R., Byron, A., Askari, J.A., Ng, D.H.J., Millon-Frémillon, A., Robertson, J., Koper, E.J., Paul, N.R., Warwood, S., Knight, D., Humphries, J.D. and Humphries, M.J.(2015). Definition of a consensus integrin adhesome and analysis of its dynamics during adhesion complex assembly and disassembly. Nature Cell Biol. 17, 1577-87.

Integration of seven mass spectrometric analysis of the adhesion nexus demonstrated that a small number of proteins (tens) establish its framework and a larger cohort of more transient proteins (hundreds) tune its function to intra- and extracellular stimuli. Analysis of the protein-protein interaction network of the adhesion nexus identified four interconnected axes that relay force to the cytoskeleton.