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Nature. 1999 Oct 21;401(6755):808-11.

Integrin cytoplasmic tyrosine motif is required for outside-in alphaIIbbeta3 signalling and platelet function.

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COR Therapeutics, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.


Integrins not only bind adhesive ligands, they also act as signalling receptors. Both functions allow the integrin alphaIIbbeta3 to mediate platelet aggregation. Platelet agonists activate alphaIIbbeta3 (inside-out signalling) to allow the binding of soluble fibrinogen. Subsequent platelet aggregation leads to outside-in alphaIIbbeta3 signalling, which results in calcium mobilization, tyrosine phosphorylation of numerous proteins including beta3 itself, increased cytoskeletal reorganisation and further activation of alphaIIbbeta3. Thus, outside-in signals enhance aggregation, although the mechanisms and functional consequences of specific signalling events remain unclear. Here we describe a mouse that expresses an alphaIIbbeta3 in which the tyrosines in the integrin cytoplasmic tyrosine motif have been mutated to phenylalanines. These mice are selectively impaired in outside-in alphaIIbbeta3 signalling, with defective aggregation and clot-retraction responses in vitro, and an in vivo bleeding defect which is characterized by a pronounced tendency to rebleed. These data provide evidence for an important role of outside-in signalling in platelet physiology. Furthermore, they identify the integrin cytoplasmic tyrosine motif as a key mediator of beta-integrin signals and a potential target for new therapeutic agents.

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