National Foot-and-mouth Disease Reference Laboratory, Key Laboratory of Animal Virology of Ministry of Agriculture, State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Integrins are members of a ubiquitous membrane receptor family which includes 18 different α subunits and 8 β subunits forming more than 20 α/β heterodimers. Integrins play key functions in vascular endothelial cell and tumour cell adhesion, lymphocyte trafficking, tumor growth and viral infection. Current understanding of the molecular basis of integrins as viral receptors has been achieved through many decades of study into the biology of transmembrane glycoproteins and their interactions with several viruses. This review provides a summary of the current knowledge on the molecular bases of interactions between viruses and integrins, which are of potential practical significance. Inhibition of virus-integrin interactions at the points of virus attachment or entry will provide a novel approach for the therapeutic treatment of viral diseases.