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Mol Endocrinol. 2006 Feb;20(2):405-13. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Insulin-like growth factor-I signaling in smooth muscle cells is regulated by ligand binding to the 177CYDMKTTC184 sequence of the beta3-subunit of alphaVbeta3.

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Division of Endocrinology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7170, USA.


The response of smooth muscle cells to IGF-I requires ligand occupancy of the alphaVbeta3 integrin. We have shown that vitronectin (Vn) is required for IGF-I-stimulated migration or proliferation, whereas the anti-alphaVbeta3 monoclonal antibody, LM609, which inhibits ligand binding, blocks responsiveness of these cells to IGF-I. The amino acids 177-184 ((177)CYDMKTTC(184)) within the extracellular domain of beta3 have been proposed to confer the ligand specificity of alphaVbeta3; therefore, we hypothesized that ligand binding to the 177-184 cysteine loop of beta3 may be an important regulator of the cross talk between alphaVbeta3 and IGF-I in SMCs. Here we demonstrate that blocking ligand binding to a specific amino acid sequence within the beta3 subunit of alphaVbeta3 (i.e. amino acids 177-184) blocked Vn binding to the beta3 subunit of alphaVbeta3 and correspondingly beta3 phosphorylation was decreased. In the presence of this antibody, IGF-I-stimulated Shc phosphorylation and ERK 1/2 activation were impaired, and this was associated with an inhibition in the ability of IGF-I to stimulate an increase in migration or proliferation. Furthermore, in cells expressing a mutated form of beta3 in which three critical residues within the 177-184 sequence were altered beta3 phosphorylation was decreased. This was associated with a loss of IGF-I-stimulated Shc phosphorylation and impaired smooth muscle cell proliferation in response to IGF-I. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the 177-184 sequence of beta3 is necessary for Vn binding to alphaVbeta3 and that ligand occupancy of this site is necessary for an optimal response of smooth muscle cells to IGF-I.

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