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J Biol Chem. 2005 Aug 26;280(34):30586-93. Epub 2005 Jun 17.

The crystal structure of the plexin-semaphorin-integrin domain/hybrid domain/I-EGF1 segment from the human integrin beta2 subunit at 1.8-A resolution.

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School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637551, Singapore.


Integrins are modular (alphabeta) heterodimeric proteins that mediate cell adhesion and convey signals across the plasma membrane. Interdomain motions play a key role in signal transduction by propagating structural changes through the molecule, thus controlling the activation state and adhesive properties of the integrin. We expressed a soluble fragment of the human integrin beta2 subunit comprising the plexin-semaphorin-integrin domain (PSI)/hybrid domain/I-EGF1 fragment and present its crystal structure at 1.8-A resolution. The structure reveals an elongated molecule with a rigid architecture stabilized by nine disulfide bridges. The PSI domain is located centrally and participates in the formation of extended interfaces with the hybrid domain and I-EGF1 domains, respectively. The hybrid domain/PSI interface involves the burial of an Arg residue, and contacts between PSI and I-EGF1 are mainly mediated by well conserved Arg and Trp residues. Conservation of key interacting residues across the various integrin beta subunits sequences suggests that our structure represents a good model for the entire integrin family. Superposition with the integrin beta3 receptor in its bent conformation suggests that an articulation point is present at the linkage between its I-EGF1 and I-EGF2 modules and underlines the importance of this region for the control of integrin-mediated cell adhesion.

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