focal adhesions


focal adhesions
Areas of close apposition, and thus presumably anchorage points, of the plasma membrane of a fibroblast (for example) to the substratum over which it is moving. Usually 1 x 0.2 m m with the long axis parallel to the direction of movement; always associated with a cytoplasmic microfilament bundle that is attached via several proteins to the plasma membrane at an area of high protein concentration (this is noticeably electron-dense in electron micrographs). Focal adhesions tend to be characteristic of slow-moving cells.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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