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J Biol Chem. 2000 Oct 13;275(41):31930-7.

Inhibitory effects of MLDG-containing heterodimeric disintegrins reveal distinct structural requirements for interaction of the integrin alpha 9beta 1 with VCAM-1, tenascin-C, and osteopontin.

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  • 1Sol Sherry Thrombosis Research Center, Department of Physiology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140, USA.


The integrin alpha9beta1 is expressed on epithelial cells, smooth muscle cells, skeletal muscle, and neutrophils and recognizes at least three distinct ligands: vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), tenascin-C, and osteopontin. The alpha9 subunit is structurally similar to the integrin alpha4 subunit, and alpha9beta1 and alpha4beta1 both recognize VCAM-1 as a ligand. We therefore examined whether the disintegrin EC3, which we have recently shown specifically inhibits the binding of alpha4 integrins to ligands, would also be a functional inhibitor of alpha9beta1. EC3 and a novel heterodimeric disintegrin that we identified, EC6, both were potent inhibitors of alpha9beta1-mediated adhesion to VCAM-1 and of neutrophil migration across tumor necrosis factor-activated endothelial cells. A peptide containing a novel MLDG motif shared by both of these disintegrins also inhibited alpha9beta1- and alpha4beta1-mediated adhesion to VCAM-1. Surprisingly though, concentrations of EC3 that completely inhibited adhesion of alpha9-transfected cells to VCAM-1 had little or no effect on adhesion to either of the other alpha9beta1 ligands, osteopontin and tenascin-C. Furthermore, peptides AEIDGIEL and SVVYGLR, which we have previously shown inhibit binding of alpha9beta1-expressing cells to tenascin-C and osteopontin, respectively, had no effect on adhesion to VCAM-1. These data suggest that there are structurally distinct requirements for interactions of the alpha9beta1 integrin with VCAM-1 and the extracellular matrix ligands osteopontin and tenascin-C.

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