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J Biol Chem. 2000 Nov 10;275(45):35264-75.

The integrins alpha3beta1 and alpha6beta1 physically and functionally associate with CD36 in human melanoma cells. Requirement for the extracellular domain OF CD36.

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  • 1Cancer Research Unit and Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, New South Wales 2308, Australia.


Lateral association between different transmembrane glycoproteins can serve to modulate integrin function. Here we characterize a physical association between the integrins alpha(3)beta(1) and alpha(6)beta(1) and CD36 on the surface of melanoma cells and show that ectopic expression of CD36 by CD36-negative MV3 melanoma cells increases their haptotactic migration on extracellular matrix components. The association was demonstrated by co-immunoprecipitation, reimmunoprecipitation, and immunoblotting of surface-labeled cells lysed in Brij 96 detergent. Confocal microscopy illustrated the co-association of alpha(3) and CD36 in cell membrane projections and ruffles. A requirement for the extracellular domain of CD36 in this association was shown by co-immunoprecipitation experiments using surface-labeled MV3 melanoma or COS-7 cells that had been transiently transfected with chimeric constructs between CD36 and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) or with a truncation mutant of CD36. CD36 is known to engage in signal transduction and to localize to membrane microdomains or rafts in several cell types. Toward a mechanistic explanation for the functional effects of CD36 expression, we demonstrate that in fractionated Triton X-100 lysates of the MV3 cells stably transfected with CD36, CD36 was greatly enriched with the detergent-insoluble fractions that represent plasma membrane rafts. Significantly, when these fractionated lysates were reprobed for endogenous beta(1) integrin, it was found that a 4-fold increase in the proportion of the mature protein was contained within the detergent-insoluble fractions when extracted from the CD36-transfected cells compared with MV3 cells transfected with vector only. These results suggest that in melanoma cells CD36 expression may induce the sequestration of certain integrins into membrane microdomains and promote cell migration.

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