Integrin αvβ3 plays a role in insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1) signaling (integrin-IGF1 receptor (IGF1R) cross-talk). The specifics of the cross-talk are, however, unclear. In a current model, "ligand occupancy" of αvβ3 (i.e. the binding of extracellular matrix proteins) enhances signaling induced by IGF1 binding to IGF1R. We recently reported that IGF1 directly binds to αvβ3 and induces αvβ3-IGF1-IGF1R ternary complex formation. Consistently, the integrin binding-defective IGF1 mutant (R36E/R37E) is defective in inducing ternary complex formation and IGF signaling, but it still binds to IGF1R. Like αvβ3, integrin α6β4 is overexpressed in many cancers and is implicated in cancer progression. Here, we discovered that α6β4 directly bound to IGF1, but not to R36E/R37E. Grafting the β4 sequence WPNSDP (residues 167-172), which corresponds to the specificity loop of β3, to integrin β1 markedly enhanced IGF1 binding to β1, suggesting that the WPNSDP sequence is involved in IGF1 recognition. WT IGF1 induced α6β4-IGF1-IGF1R ternary complex formation, whereas R36E/R37E did not. When cells were attached to matrix, exogenous IGF1 or α6β4 expression had little or no effect on intracellular signaling. When cell-matrix adhesion was reduced (in poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-coated plates), IGF1 induced intracellular signaling and enhanced cell survival in an α6β4-dependent manner. Also IGF1 enhanced colony formation in soft agar in an α6β4-dependent manner. These results suggest that IGF binding to α6β4 plays a major role in IGF signaling in anchorage-independent conditions, which mimic the in vivo environment, and is a novel therapeutic target.