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J Pharm Biomed Anal. 1997 Jun;15(9-10):1405-16.

Ectodomain interactions of leukocyte integrins and pro-inflammatory GPI-linked membrane proteins.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Although glycosylphosphatidyl-inositol (GPI) linked membrane proteins do not possess transmembrane or cytosolic sequences they elicit transmembrane signals. Using microscopic fluorescence imaging and resonance energy transfer (RET) techniques we have shown that certain pro-inflammatory GPI-linked membrane proteins can interact with leukocyte beta 2 integrins (complement receptor type 3 (CR3) and 4 (CR4) and the leukocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1)). For example, physical associations between CR3 and Fc gamma RIIIB, CR3 and urokinase receptors, and CR3 and CD14 (lipopolysaccharide receptor) have been found. Although Fc gamma RIIIB appears to be constitutively associated with CR3, urokinase receptors and CD14 associations with CR3 are influenced by their ligation status and cell function (e.g. adherence and locomotion). CR3-to-urokinase receptor interactions have been confirmed by immunoprecipitation techniques. Immunoprecipitation of CR3 from Brij-58 lysates after biotinylation of neutrophil membranes revealed proteins of M(r) = 40,000, 50,000, 74,000 and 120,000, in addition to bands corresponding to the integrin alpha and beta chains. Cell functions such as transmembrane signaling and superoxide release/priming have been linked to these interactions. Importantly, reagents that affect the lectin-like site of CR3, such as N-acetyl-D-glucosamine, alpha-methyl-D-mannoside and beta-glucan alter these interactions and, in parallel, leukocyte functions. Thus, the interactions of GPI-linked proteins and integrins can be highly dynamic events linked to cell activities. Our studies suggest that it may be possible to develop new drugs directed at the lectin-like site of beta 2 integrins that block GPI-linked protein-to-integrin coupling thereby controlling inflammatory cell processes including cell adherence, locomotion and activation. Such drugs may be useful in clinical conditions such as ischemia-reperfusion injury, sepsis, arthritis and others.

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