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J Cell Sci. 2009 Jan 15;122(Pt 2):227-32. doi: 10.1242/jcs.035246.

Mice that lack activity of alphavbeta6- and alphavbeta8-integrins reproduce the abnormalities of Tgfb1- and Tgfb3-null mice.

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Department of Cell Biology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


The arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD)-binding integrins alphavbeta6 and alphavbeta8 activate latent TGFbeta1 and TGFbeta3 in vivo, but it is uncertain whether other RGD-binding integrins such as integrins alphavbeta5 and alphavbeta3 activate these TGFbeta isoforms. To define the combined role of alphavbeta6- and alphavbeta8-integrin in TGFbeta activation, we analyzed mice lacking function of both integrins by means of gene deletion and/or pharmacologic inhibition. Most Itgb6-/-;Itgb8-/- embryos die at mid-gestation; those that survive develop cleft palate-as observed in Tgfb3-/- mice. Itgb8-/- mice treated with an anti-alphavbeta6-integrin antibody develop severe autoimmunity and lack Langerhans cells-similar to Tgfb1-null mice. These results support a model in which TGFbeta3-mediated palate fusion and TGFbeta1-mediated suppression of autoimmunity and generation of Langerhans cells require integrins alphavbeta6 and alphavbeta8 but not other RGD-binding integrins as TGFbeta activators.

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