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J Cell Biol. 1999 Apr 19;145(2):413-20.

The integrin alpha9beta1 mediates adhesion to activated endothelial cells and transendothelial neutrophil migration through interaction with vascular cell adhesion molecule-1.

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  • 1Lung Biology Center, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Cardiovascular Research Institute and the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


The integrin alpha9beta1 has been shown to be widely expressed on smooth muscle and epithelial cells, and to mediate adhesion to the extracellular matrix proteins osteopontin and tenascin-C. We have found that the peptide sequence this integrin recognizes in tenascin-C is highly homologous to the sequence recognized by the closely related integrin alpha4beta1, in the inducible endothelial ligand, vascular cell adhesion mole-cule-1 (VCAM-1). We therefore sought to determine whether alpha9beta1 also recognizes VCAM-1, and whether any such interaction would be biologically significant. In this report, we demonstrate that alpha9beta1 mediates stable cell adhesion to recombinant VCAM-1 and to VCAM-1 induced on human umbilical vein endothelial cells by tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Furthermore, we show that alpha9beta1 is highly and selectively expressed on neutrophils and is critical for neutrophil migration on VCAM-1 and tenascin-C. Finally, alpha9beta1 and alpha4 integrins contribute to neutrophil chemotaxis across activated endothelial monolayers. These observations suggest a possible role for alpha9beta1/VCAM-1 interactions in extravasation of neutrophils at sites of acute inflammation.

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