The Journal of biological chemistry

Divalent cations and ligands induce conformational changes that are highly divergent among beta1 integrins.

PMID 9506964


Here we show striking differences in conformational regulation among beta1 integrins. Upon manganese stimulation, a beta1 epitope defined by monoclonal antibody (mAb) 9EG7 was induced strongly (on alpha4beta1), moderately (on alpha5beta1), weakly (on alpha2beta1), or was scarcely detectable (on alpha6beta1 and alpha3beta1). Comparable results were seen for the beta1 epitope defined by mAb 15/7. Likewise, soluble ligands caused strong (alpha4beta1), moderate (alpha5beta1), weak (alpha2beta1, alpha6beta1), or minimal (alpha3beta1) induction of the 9EG7 epitope. Exchange or deletion of alpha chain cytoplasmic tails did not alter Mn2+-induced 9EG7 epitope levels. Upon removal of calcium by EGTA or EDTA, the hierarchy of 9EG7 epitope induction was similar (alpha5beta1 > alpha2beta1 > alpha6beta1 > alpha3beta1), except that EGTA reduced rather than induced 9EG7 expression on alpha4beta1. Thus in contrast to other beta1 integrins, calcium uniquely supports constitutive expression of the 9EG7 epitope on alpha4beta1. Likewise, calcium supported vascular cell adhesion molecule-stimulated 9EG7 appearance on alpha4beta1, whereas calcium inhibited ligand-induced 9EG7 epitope on other integrins. Constitutive expression of 9EG7 on alpha4beta1 was eliminated by a D698E mutation in alpha4, suggesting that Asp-698 may play a key role in maintaining atypical alpha4beta1 response to calcium. In conclusion, our results (i) demonstrate that mAb such as 9EG7 and 15/7 have limited diagnostic utility as reporters of ligand or Mn2+ occupancy for beta1 integrins, (ii) indicate pronounced differences in conformational flexibilities (alpha4beta1 > alpha5beta1 > alpha2beta1 > alpha6beta1 > alpha3beta1), (iii) allow us to hypothesize that beta1 integrins may differ markedly in conformation-dependent inside-out signaling, and (iv) have uncovered an atypical alpha4beta1 response to calcium that requires alpha4 Asp-698.

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