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J Biol Chem. 2003 Jul 4;278(27):25024-31. Epub 2003 Apr 29.

Close homolog of L1 is an enhancer of integrin-mediated cell migration.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill 27599-7260, USA.


Close homolog of L1 (CHL1) is a member of the L1 family of cell adhesion molecules expressed by subpopulations of neurons and glia in the central and peripheral nervous system. It promotes neurite outgrowth and neuronal survival in vitro. This study describes a novel function for CHL1 in potentiating integrin-dependent cell migration toward extracellular matrix proteins. Expression of CHL1 in HEK293 cells stimulated their haptotactic migration toward collagen I, fibronectin, laminin, and vitronectin substrates in Transwell assays. CHL1-potentiated cell migration to collagen I was dependent on alpha1beta1 and alpha2beta1 integrins, as shown with function blocking antibodies. Potentiated migration relied on the early integrin signaling intermediates c-Src, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and mitogen-activated protein kinase. Enhancement of migration was disrupted by mutation of a potential integrin interaction motif Asp-Gly-Glu-Ala (DGEA) in the sixth immunoglobulin domain of CHL1, suggesting that CHL1 functionally interacts with beta1 integrins through this domain. CHL1 was shown to associate with beta1 integrins on the cell surface by antibody-induced co-capping. Through a cytoplasmic domain sequence containing a conserved tyrosine residue (Phe-Ile-Gly-Ala-Tyr), CHL1 recruited the actin cytoskeletal adapter protein ankyrin to the plasma membrane, and this sequence was necessary for promoting integrin-dependent migration to extracellular matrix proteins. These results support a role for CHL1 in integrin-dependent cell migration that may be physiologically important in regulating cell migration in nerve regeneration and cortical development.

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