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J Cell Sci. 2009 Jan 15;122(Pt 2):268-77. doi: 10.1242/jcs.037127.

JAM-A promotes neutrophil chemotaxis by controlling integrin internalization and recycling.

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  • 1FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology, Milan, Italy.


The membrane-associated adhesion molecule JAM-A is required for neutrophil infiltration in inflammatory or ischemic tissues. JAM-A expressed in both endothelial cells and neutrophils has such a role, but the mechanism of action remains elusive. Here we show that JAM-A has a cell-autonomous role in neutrophil chemotaxis both in vivo and in vitro, which is independent of the interaction of neutrophils with endothelial cells. On activated neutrophils, JAM-A concentrates in a polarized fashion at the leading edge and uropod. Surprisingly, a significant amount of this protein is internalized in intracellular endosomal-like vesicles where it codistributes with integrin beta1. Clustering of beta1 integrin leads to JAM-A co-clustering, whereas clustering of JAM-A does not induce integrin association. Neutrophils derived from JAM-A-null mice are unable to correctly internalize beta1 integrins upon chemotactic stimuli and this causes impaired uropod retraction and cell motility. Consistently, inhibition of integrin internalization upon treatment with BAPTA-AM induces a comparable phenotype. These data indicate that JAM-A is required for the correct internalization and recycling of integrins during cell migration and might explain why, in its absence, the directional migration of neutrophils towards an inflammatory stimulus is markedly impaired.

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