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  • in structure the alpha actions are the ligand binding, with the B involved in stabilising structure and controlling dynamic comformations through divalent cation varaibility ( luo et al 2007 structural basis of integrin rgulation and signalling —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:15, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I think approximate concentration of integrin need to be mentioned in the article. Light&Truth 04:45, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I just deleted the remark about "integrin mutations in (breast) cancer" and integrins and metastasis. I would be happy to put them back when someone provides a convincing reference to back up the remarks. I find nothing in the medline to support either idea. I also replaced "obligate" before heterodimer. I see very little evidence that there exist functioning integrin monomers at the cell surface. Again: please enlighten me, if you have a reference...


(the first few posts of this thread were originally on A.Z.'s talk page, but he thought it was better that the discussion continue here)

Hi A.Z., Thanks for your recent edits to the opening paragraph of the integrin article. I noticed you reverted the article straight back to your version when someone undid your changes. I'm sorry and I don't mean to upset you in any way but the version before you made changes was better. Someone (i.e. myself) could spend time improving on your edits, but I think the result would be an opening paragraph similar to the original, which you were not happy with. In the interest of heading of an editing war before it starts, how can we resolve this? Maybe switch back to the original opening paragraph (before your edits) and any points you think need clarifying we'll discuss either here or on the integrin talk page. cheers K.murphy 08:09, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I don't want to start a revert war. I'd like to know why you think the previous version was better. I couldn't understand what the article was about, so I clicked on the links to the articles linked from the introduction, so I could learn what was the extracellular matrix and other things that I didn't know about. Then, I copied a brief explanation of the concepts that I didn't know to the article about Integrin. The second version is a lot clearer to me. It may not be too well written, but by reading it I would be able to grasp what is Integrin without having to read many other articles. A.Z. 21:41, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Do you at least agree that "metazoans" should be "animals"? I think the second is WAY better than the first. A.Z. 21:42, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
hmmm, I thought that was what internal links were for. If you use a complicated term like "integral membrane protein" or "plasma membrane" or "extracellular matrix" or even "metazoans" in an article make it an internal link, then readers can click on it to learn what it means. Thats the way I use them anyway. It sounds like it worked well for you because you clicked on most of the internal links in the original integrin intro and found out what they all meant!! Then dropping alot of the internal links and explaining each concept then kind of defeats the point of internal links, in my opinion. Also it dumbs the intro down alot (sorry), again in my opinion K.murphy 09:23, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The internal links are good to learn more about other subjects that are somehow related to the subject you're studying. They are not shortcuts to a dictionary for people to learn the meaning of rare, technical, and difficult words that they don't know, and the articles are not supposed to use such words without explaining them just because there are internal links. If an article uses concepts that few people know, the article should explain the concepts.
I read an essay about that once, or a guideline. It said that people should not write articles that to be understood require that most people click on many links. I don't know its title, though.
In 2006, I printed more then 200 articles to study for a test, and I would read them at the park, where there was no computer. I hated it when I was reading something and couldn't understand what it meant because the people who wrote the article assumed I would click on the links to other articles.
I think the introduction should introduce people to the subject. Of course, there cannot be a complete and long explanation of every concept in the introduction. That would take many pages, and would make no sense. But the introduction of Integrin as it was before my changes was too technical and, in my opinion, it served no purpose. I doubt that anyone who didn't already know what Integrin is would be able to grasp what it is by reading the introduction. Everyone who knows what extracellular matrix, metazoans, and other complicated terms in the introduction mean also knows what Integrin is, so they don't have to read the introduction at all.
About "metazoan", the word animal is surely many times better. They both mean the same, about 1% of the population know what metazoan means and 100% know what animal means. A.Z. 22:15, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm transfering this thread to the Integrin article talk page. A.Z. 03:25, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree with A.Z. that intros should be written for a general audience, and not assume that readers are already familiar with the terms and concepts used. If a simple explanation (say one line) of each term can be included directly in the article, it should be (with the link still retained for those who want the full details). The problem with clicking on links for explanations is that those articles may in turn require clicking on links to understand them, and those subsequent articles may require the same, etc. Thus, the poor reader is sent down an infinite chain due to the lack of a simple explanation for each term. Also, there are the concerns of those going off printed copies, and those with slow computers who won't want to load dozens of other pages in an attempt to understand this article. Some of A.Z.'s edits needed a few English fixes, and some removal of duplication, which I've now made. Hopefully, we now have a reasonable compromise between brevity and comprehension by a general audience.

One other comment, intros are intended for a general audience, so technical concepts which will not be understood by the average reader should be moved from the intro to the body of the article. We may want to do some of that here. StuRat 08:25, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Have a look at a few of the good natural science articles. As far as I can tell none of them (the ones I've read anyway) adopt the "explain every technical concept" approach we're now using in the intro for integrin. A.Z. how did you do in the test? you should be careful using wikipedia articles to study for a test. K.murphy 09:39, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I passed the test! It was a test to get into college. Wikipedia helped me, especially with chemistry.
I think those good articles are not good at all if they don't adopt the "explain every technical concept" approach. Probably only people that are familiar with the subject edit those articles, so they have trouble thinking about how an average person not familiar with the subject thinks. People who declare that the articles are good are probably those familiar with the subject as well.
It isn't enough to be an expert in a field in order to write a good article aimed at a general audience. I think that non-experts like me should start editing more the scientific articles, so that they become readable to non-scientists. Signal transduction and extracellular matrix are terms that definitely should not be used, especially in an introduction, without further explanation. Metazoans just makes no sense and should never be used in Wikipedia, unless the article or section is about the word metazoans. A.Z. 14:30, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree with K.murphy's concerns here (and I'm a bit irked that my attempt to clean up the intro while still explaining some concepts was flatly reverted). I agree that a compromise is necessary between the use of appropriate technical terminology (for precision, concision, and accuracy) and simple, nontechincal wording and inline definitions (for accessibility). For example, I replaced 'metazoan' with 'animal', because the latter term is both functionally equivalent and more widely understood. However, care and common sense must be employed in attempts to make the material more approachable.
For example, A.Z. originally included a rather large block of text to explain what the cell (plasma) membrane was, including details about its structure and composition. While this material has been trimmed somewhat, I think it's still far too much for the lede of this article. Getting carried away with nested inline definitions will also lead us into absurdity:
Integrins are proteins found in the plasma membrane.
Proteins are chains of amino acids that form functional three-dimensional structures in biological systems.
Amino acids are small organic molecules containing an amino group and a carboxylic acid group; different amino acids are distinguished by their side chains.
An amino group contains nitrogen and hydrogen.
Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element in the Universe....
The plasma membrane is made of lipids.
Lipids are fatty biomolecules.
A molecule is....
...and so forth. Also of concern are errors of fact introduced by attempting to simplify material too far or gloss over too many details. The current version of the page, for instance, describes the plasma membrane as a 'tissue'. While the cell membrane is thin, broad, and flexible (leading the writer to want to draw an analogy with tissue paper, perhaps), the word 'tissue' has a very specific meaning in the context of biology. Indeed, the word 'tissue' is used correctly in the second paragraph of the lede, which is likely to increase the confusion of the reader rather than lessen it.
There are three points that I'd like people to bear in mind in editing this article. First, Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, and a certain amount of internal linking of terms is a valuable and desirable aspect of this online medium. Second, consider the likely reader of this article. Someone who wants to know about integrins will need to have a certain amount of background knowledge (in protein science and/or cell biology) in order to put the information from this article into context. Either they already have that knowledge (in which case inline definitions are superfluous) or they do not (in which case brief inline explanations of basic biology concepts are likely to be inadequate).
Finally, the article lede is meant to be a mercifully brief treatment of the article topic: a summary. Instead of trying to cram too much explanatory material into the lede, try instead improving the Structure and Function section of the article—both sections need a fair bit of work, and clear writing here will probably define for the reader (implicitly or explicitly) most of the technical terminology. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:39, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I liked StuRat's changes and I think the introduction is truly better than it was before.
I don't have time to make many comments now, but I'm happy that we are all discussing something with clearly the sole purpose of improving Wikipedia. I think this discussion is important because it's not about this article, it's about the way that Wikipedia articles should be.
At first, I thought my edits would be seen as an improvement by everyone. They looked like an improvement to me, because I personally would prefer a lot to read articles written like that.
I don't mind whether the explanations are in the introduction or in other sections. Clearly other sections as of now are way more technical and hard to understand than the introduction ever was.
I don't know whether I agree with Ten's first and third points, but I do disagree with the second, "Someone who wants to know about integrins will need to have a certain amount of background knowledge (in protein science and/or cell biology) in order to put the information from this article into context. Either they already have that knowledge (in which case inline definitions are superfluous) or they do not (in which case brief inline explanations of basic biology concepts are likely to be inadequate)." I'll elaborate my disagreement later. A.Z. 17:43, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I also disagree with Ten. Those who "have a certain amount of background knowledge (in protein science and/or cell biology)" should skip the intro entirely and get right into the meat of the article. The intro is intended for those who lack such a background, and it should be written with them in mind. StuRat 22:31, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree. But Ten seems to think that there should be no introduction as we know it, just a list of links to pages that people would have to read first in order to understand the article, which would be quite boring, and would not work (partially because it's so boring).
Wikipedia is not made of paper, so there's no need for the introduction to be a small set of links to articles that will hopefully provide background. Let's provide the background here already.
We can have a ten paragraph long introduction, if that's what it takes to provide background enough to a normal person. We can have a twenty paragraph long introduction in articles that are especially complicated.
Most concepts in the Integrin case are simple enough to be explained with brief explanations. Signal transduction is a fine example of such a concept: a brief explanation does the job well enough so the article about Integrin becomes understandable. If people decide to learn more about signal transduction, they can read its article. A.Z. 02:22, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
A.Z., if you'd like to discuss the article, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't tell other people what I think—I'm quite capable of doing so on my own.
I also think it would be a good idea for all the participants here to review Wikipedia:Lead section. In particular, A.Z., our Manual of Style just doesn't endorse introductions larger than three or four paragraphs. I don't think it would be appropriate for every article about a protein to start with a ten- or twenty-paragraph introduction to biology. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 12:17, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I didn't read your mind. I didn't expose your unspoken thoughts nor did I speculate about your intentions (except when I said that you had in this discussion the sole purpose of improving Wikipedia). I just said how I understand your proposal.
In my opinion, most articles can be good while having a short lead. Integrin is one of them, and the lead I propose is relatively short. However, our Manual of Style does endorse that we explain all jargon, define technical terms, and write for an average person. Obviously there are articles about things more complicated to understand, and we may have to sacrifice shortness in order to have understandability. A.Z. 15:06, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I think part of the issue here is that most editors who contribute to articles such as integrin just dont write in the style A.Z. and StuRat you are suggesting. While I see your point I think your going to run into problems. I think any editor with a bit of basic cell biology knowledge, who reads the current intro will spin in his/her seat and set to work immediately and try to "improve" it. I know I did and would !! and users mattert and TenOfAllTrades have already tried. Your going to end up constantly fighting of editors and reverting back. Have you tried editing any other molecular and cellular biology articles in this style? is integrin the start of the A.Z. and StuRat revolution !! K.murphy 08:23, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Italian translation[edit]

Dear enwiki collegues, a group of us is translating this article in Italian language for itwiki, but we cannot understand this phrase: Experimental evidence indicates that integrins can be released from attaching the cell to the substrate near the back of the cell . Please, could you explain what the back of the cell mean, and write the entire concept in other words? Alternatively (or in addition) could you link us to a site were this interesting process is graphically showed? Thank you, sorry for my bad English --Corneliae 15:40, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

During cell migration, cells have a front and a back, like a boat. Part of the process of movement is to detach the back from the substrate so that the cell can move forward. Since it is integrins which anchor the cell to the substrate, they need to be released here. A useful analogy is a caterpillar track, with the vehicle being like the cell, and the plates of the track being like integrin molecules: the vehicle moves forward by putting down new plates at the front, pulling itself over them (while the plates remain stationary), and then lifting them up at the back (and then sending them back to the front to be put down again). As i understand it, the release happens by switching off the signals which promote adhesion complex formation, and then applying tension generated by actin-myosin contraction to literally pull the adhesions off the substrate. There's then endocytosis to recover the integrins and other molecules from the plasma membrane, ready for reuse. There is also some cleavage of integrins by calpain, but i think that's for signalling rather than degradation. -- Tom Anderson 2008-01-02 14:09 +0000 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


doi:10.1182/blood-2011-04-29212 - in Blood JFW | T@lk 19:45, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Font too large on table[edit]

Font on table of human integrins is too large is the reason it looks folded over on itself. WikiHelpChat says post problem here.

IiKkEe (talk) 15:50, 9 May 2014 (UTC)


I came here to learn something - and I did - but I noticed no Talk in 6 years and no editing in a long time. I also found the page in need of improvements, and took about 30 minutes to clean up the first few paragraphs, but I need to move on for now. Here's a to do list for me later, or anyone who agrees to tackle:

  • One table unlabeled, and font too big
  • What's the reason for two tables? - they look the same to me
  • Many of the sections are very wordy, with one giant paragraph. Needs to be split into smaller paragraphs.
  • Some material under function needs to be in lead
  • Needs lots of images imported
  • Needs lots of citations
  • Answer question - how are integrins different from other adhesion molecules?
  • change title to plural

Will flag "needs improvement"

IiKkEe (talk) 18:06, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

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