Integrins belong to a group of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) which is a large group of membrane-bound proteins. They are responsible for cell attachment to the extracellular matrix (ECM) and signal transduction from the ECM to the cells. Integrins take part in many other biological activities, such as extravasation, cell-to-cell adhesion, migration, cytokine activation and release, and act as receptors for some viruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). They play a pivotal role in cell proliferation, migration, apoptosis, tissue repair and are involved in the processes that are crucial to infection, inflammation and angiogenesis. Integrins have an important part in normal development and tissue homeostasis, and also in the development of pathological processes in the eye. This review presents the available evidence from human and animal research into integrin structure, classification, function and their role in inflammation, infection and angiogenesis in ocular diseases. Integrin receptors and ligands are clinically interesting and may be promising as new therapeutic targets in the treatment of some eye disorders.
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