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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jul 12;277(28):25715-21. Epub 2002 May 6.

Relationships between Rap1b, affinity modulation of integrin alpha IIbbeta 3, and the actin cytoskeleton.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The affinity of integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3) for fibrinogen is controlled by inside-out signals that are triggered by agonists like thrombin. Agonist treatment of platelets also activates Rap1b, a small GTPase known to promote integrin-dependent adhesion of other cells. Therefore, we investigated the role of Rap1b in alpha(IIb)beta(3) function by viral transduction of GFP-Rap1 chimeras into murine megakaryocytes, which exhibit inside-out signaling similar to platelets. Expression of constitutively active GFP-Rap1b (V12) had no effect on unstimulated megakaryocytes, but it greatly augmented fibrinogen binding to alpha(IIb)beta(3) induced by a PAR4 thrombin receptor agonist (p < 0.01). The Rap1b effect was cell-autonomous and was prevented by pre-treating cells with cytochalasin D or latrunculin A to inhibit actin polymerization. Rap1b-dependent fibrinogen binding to megakaryocytes was blocked by POW-2, a novel monovalent antibody Fab fragment specific for high affinity murine alpha(IIb)beta(3). In contrast to GFP-Rap1b (V12), expression of GFP-Rap1GAP, which deactivates endogenous Rap1, inhibited agonist-induced fibrinogen binding (p < 0.01), as did dominant-negative GFP-Rap1b (N17) (p < 0.05). None of these treatments affected surface expression of alpha(IIb)beta(3). These studies establish that Rap1b can augment agonist-induced ligand binding to alpha(IIb)beta(3) through effects on integrin affinity, possibly by modulating alpha(IIb)beta(3) interactions with the actin cytoskeleton.

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