The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the integrin alpha chain family. Integrins are heterodimeric integral;membrane proteins composed of an alpha chain and a beta chain. They mediate a wide spectrum of cell-cell and;cell-matrix interactions, and thus play a role in cell migration, morphologic development, differentiation, and;metastasis. This protein functions as a receptor for the basement membrane protein laminin-1. It is mainly expressed;in skeletal and cardiac muscles and may be involved in differentiation and migration processes during myogenesis.Defects in this gene are associated with congenital myopathy. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding;different isoforms have been noted for this gene.