A novel RGD-independent fibronectin assembly pathway initiated by alpha4beta1 integrin binding to the alternatively spliced V region.

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Journal Article

Fibronectin (FN) matrix assembly is a multi-step process that involves binding to integrin receptors, FN-FN interactions and connections to the actin cytoskeleton. Ultimately, FN is converted into stable matrix fibrils that are detergent-insoluble. RGD-binding integrins such as alpha5beta1 play a major role in the assembly of fibrillar FN. Here we show that alpha4beta1 binding to the alternatively spliced V (IIICS) region of FN initiates an alternative assembly pathway. Activation of alpha4beta1 with exogenous agents such as Mn(2+) or a beta1-stimulatory antibody TS2/16 was sufficient to induce initiation of FN fibrillogenesis by Ramos B lymphoma cells and by CHO(B2)alpha4 cells. Using recombinant FNs lacking specific sequences, we show that assembly is independent of the RGD sequence but requires the V25/CS-1 segment. Previously, we have characterized an activated recombinant FN (FN III(1-7)) that rapidly forms detergent-insoluble multimers upon binding to alpha5beta1 integrin. Alpha4beta1 also formed FNdeltaIII(1-7) multimers without the aid of exogenous stimulants, suggesting that an activated form of FN can override the need for activation of the integrin. In contrast to assembly by alpha5beta1, actin filaments remained largely cortical and no change in cell growth rate was observed with alpha4beta1-mediated assembly. These results show that binding sites on FN other than the RGD sequence/synergy site and distant from the cell binding domain can promote FN assembly. Thus, there appear to be multiple, integrin-specific mechanisms for assembly of FN matrix.

J Cell Sci
113 ( Pt 8)
Date Published
ISSN Number
Alternate Journal
J. Cell. Sci.