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Cell Adhes Commun. 1999;7(1):43-56.

Targeting of cytoskeletal linker proteins to focal adhesion complexes is reduced in fibroblasts adhering to laminin-1 when compared to fibronectin.

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Institut II für Biochemie, Faculty of Medicine, Cologne, Germany.


Cellular interactions with the extracellular matrix determine to a large extent cell behavior, including cell migration. These interactions take place at specialized cellular structures, the focal adhesions, which have a substrate-specific morphology. To determine the molecular and functional relevance of this observation, the composition of isolated focal adhesions developed by fibroblasts adhering to fibronectin or laminin-1 was analyzed by indirect immunofluorescence and immunoblotting with or without stabilization of the structures by cross-linking. In the absence of cross-linking, integrins, talin, vinculin and, to a lower extent, paxillin remained associated with the focal adhesions formed on both substrates, indicating a tight association of these proteins with the extracellular matrix support. By contrast, alpha-actinin, FAK, and actin were apparently loosely maintained within focal adhesions and were found associated to these structures only after stabilization by cross-linking. Interestingly, although both substrates induced clustering and aggregation of all these proteins, their relative concentration, with the exception of alpha-actinin, was lower within the focal adhesions formed on laminin-1 than in those formed on fibronectin. Moreover, as assessed in migration assays, the locomotory speed of fibroblasts was higher on laminin-1 than on fibronectin. Altogether these results indicate that integrins involved in cellular interactions with fibronectin or laminin-1 trigger the formation of focal adhesion structures which differ by molecular organization, concentration in several adhesion plaque components, and function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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