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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2003 Jun;35(6):671-83.

Focal complex formation in adult cardiomyocytes is accompanied by the activation of beta3 integrin and c-Src.

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Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, Gazes Cardiac Research Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, 114 Doughty Street, SC 29425 2221, Charleston, USA.


In pressure-overloaded myocardium, our recent study demonstrated cytoskeletal assembly of c-Src and other signaling proteins which was partially mimicked in vitro using adult feline cardiomyocytes embedded in three-dimensional (3D) collagen matrix and stimulated with an integrin-binding Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptide. In the present study, we improved this model further to activate c-Src and obtain a full assembly of the focal adhesion complex (FAC), and characterized c-Src localization and integrin subtype(s) involved. RGD dose response experiments revealed that c-Src activation occurs subsequent to its cytoskeletal recruitment and is accompanied by p130Cas cytoskeletal binding and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) Tyr925 phosphorylation. When cardiomyocytes expressing hexahistidine-tagged c-Src via adenoviral gene delivery were used for RGD stimulation, the expressed c-Src exhibited relocation: (i) biochemical analysis revealed c-Src movement from the detergent-soluble to the -insoluble cytoskeletal fraction and (ii) confocal microscopic analysis showed c-Src movement from a nuclear/perinuclear to a sarcolemmal region. RGD treatment also caused sarcolemmal co-localization of FAK and vinculin. Characterization of integrin subtypes revealed that beta3, but not beta1, integrin plays a predominant role: (i) expression of cytoplasmic domain of beta1A integrin did not affect the RGD-stimulated FAC formation and (ii) both pressure-overloaded myocardium and RGD-stimulated cardiomyocytes exhibited phosphorylation of beta3 integrin at Tyr773/785 sites but not beta1 integrin at Thr788/789 sites. Together these data indicate that RGD treatment in cardiomyocytes causes beta3 integrin activation and c-Src sarcolemmal localization, that subsequent c-Src activation is accompanied by p130Cas binding and FAK Tyr925 phosphorylation, and that these events might be crucial for growth and remodeling of hypertrophying adult cardiomyocytes.

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