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J Biol Chem. 2004 May 28;279(22):23510-6. Epub 2004 Mar 18.

Thrombospondin-1-induced focal adhesion disassembly in fibroblasts requires Thy-1 surface expression, lipid raft integrity, and Src activation.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 35294, USA.


The hep I peptide of thrombospondin-1 is known to induce the disassembly of focal adhesions, a critical step in regulating cellular adhesive changes needed for cell motility. Fibroblasts that are heterogeneous with respect to the surface expression of Thy-1 differ markedly in morphology, cytoskeletal organization, and migration, suggesting differential regulation of focal adhesion dynamics. Here we demonstrate that disassembly of focal adhesions mediated by both full-length thrombospondin-1 and the hep I peptide in fibroblasts requires the expression of Thy-1, although it does not appear to function as a stable member of the hep I receptor complex. Consistent with a known function of Thy-1 in regulating lipid raft-associated signaling, intact lipid rafts are necessary for hep I-mediated focal adhesion disassembly. Furthermore, we establish Src family kinase (SFK) activation as a novel component required for hep I-induced signaling leading to focal adhesion disassembly. hep I induces transient phosphorylation of SFKs in Thy-1-expressing fibroblasts only. Therefore, we conclude that Thy-1 surface expression is required for thrombospondin-1-induced focal adhesion disassembly in fibroblasts through an SFK-dependent mechanism. This represents a novel role for Thy-1 in the regulation of fibroblast-matrix interactions critical to tissue homeostasis and remodeling.

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