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J Cell Sci. 2001 Mar;114(Pt 6):1101-13.

The NITY motif of the beta-chain cytoplasmic domain is involved in stimulated internalization of the beta3 integrin A isoform.

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Laboratorium für Molekulare Biologie, Genzentrum der Universität München, Feodor Lynen Strasse 25, D-81377 München, Germany.


Beta3 integrin adhesion molecules play important roles in wound repair and the regulation of vascular development and three beta3 integrin isoforms (beta3-A, -B, -C) have been described so far. Surface expression of beta3 integrins is dynamically regulated through internalization of beta3 integrins, however, the molecular mechanisms are understood incompletely. To evaluate the role of the cytoplasmic domain of beta3 integrins for internalization, we have generated single chain chimeras with variant and mutated forms of beta3 cytoplasmic domains. Upon transient transfection into chinese hamster ovary cells, it was found that the beta3-A chimera had strongly reduced cell surface expression compared with the corresponding beta3-B, or beta3-C fusion proteins, or the tail-less constructs, whereas steady state levels of all chimeras were near identical. Studies employing cytoplasmic domain mutants showed that the NITY motif at beta3-A 756-759 is critical for plasma membrane expression of beta3-A. Furthermore, delivery of beta3-A to the cell surface was specifically modulated by the cytoplasmic protein beta3-endonexin, a previously described intracellular protein. Coexpression of the native, long form of beta3-endonexin, which does not interact with the beta3 tail, acted as a dominant negative inhibitor of beta3-A-internalization and enhanced steady-state surface expression of the beta3-A-chimera. Furthermore, anti-beta3 antibody-induced internalization of the native beta3 integrin (alpha(IIb)beta3 was dramatically reduced for the Tyr(759)-Ala substitution mutant (alpha(IIb)beta3) (Y759A) and expression of the long isoform of beta3-endonexin substantially decreased the internalization of wild-type alpha(IIb)beta3. Thus, the NITY motif of the beta-chain cytoplasmic domain is involved in stimulated internalization of the beta3 integrin A isoform and beta3-endonexin appears to couple the beta3-A isoform to a specific receptor-recycling pathway.

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