Synergistic roles for receptor occupancy and aggregation in integrin transmembrane function

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Science  10 Feb 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5199, pp. 883-885
DOI: 10.1126/science.7846531


Integrin receptors mediate cell adhesion, signal transduction, and cytoskeletal organization. How a single transmembrane receptor can fulfill multiple functions was clarified by comparing roles of receptor occupancy and aggregation. Integrin occupancy by monovalent ligand induced receptor redistribution, but minimal tyrosine phosphorylation signaling or cytoskeletal protein redistribution. Aggregation of integrins by noninhibitory monoclonal antibodies on beads induced intracellular accumulations of pp125FAK and tensin, as well as phosphorylation, but no accumulation of other cytoskeletal proteins such as talin. Combining antibody-mediated clustering with monovalent ligand occupancy induced accumulation of seven cytoskeletal proteins, including alpha-actinin, talin, and F-actin, thereby mimicking multivalent interactions with fibronectin or polyvalent peptides. Integrins therefore mediate a complex repertoire of functions through the distinct effects of receptor aggregation, receptor occupancy, or both together.