Send to

Choose Destination
EMBO J. 1991 Sep;10(9):2375-85.

Characterization of the integrin alpha 8 subunit: a new integrin beta 1-associated subunit, which is prominently expressed on axons and on cells in contact with basal laminae in chick embryos.

Author information

Department of Physiology, University of California San Francisco, 94143.


In this article, we describe the primary structure, the biochemical characterization and the tissue distribution of a novel integrin alpha subunit, named alpha 8. This subunit associates with the integrin beta 1 subunit to form alpha 8 beta 1 heterodimers. By sequence analysis, alpha 8 is more closely related to the alpha 5 and alpha v subunits than to other characterized integrin alpha subunits, but is clearly distinct from each of these. The alpha 8 subunit is expressed at moderate levels in several epithelial cells where its localization adjacent to basal laminae suggests that alpha 8-containing heterodimers interact with at least one extracellular matrix constituent. In embryos, the highest levels of alpha 8 protein expression are seen in the nervous system where alpha 8 is strongly expressed by several classes of projection neurons. The alpha 8 subunit is concentrated in axon tracts, including major projections in the spinal cord, optic system and auditory system. This tissue specific expression and cellular localization suggest that alpha 8-containing integrin receptors might promote axon outgrowth in the embryonic nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center