Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2009 Dec 25;284(52):36557-68. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.041194. Epub 2009 Sep 17.

Integrin activation dynamics between the RGD-binding site and the headpiece hinge.

Author information

Department of Materials, Laboratory of Biologically Oriented Materials, ETH, Zurich CH-8049, Switzerland.


Integrins form mechanical links between the extracellular matrix and the cytoskeleton. Although integrin activation is known to be regulated by an allosteric conformational change, which can be induced from the extracellular or intracellular end of the molecule, little is known regarding the sequence of structural events by which signals propagate between distant sites. Here, we reveal with molecular dynamics simulations of the FnIII(10)-bound alpha(V)beta(3) integrin headpiece how the binding pocket and interdomain betaA/hybrid domain hinge on the distal end of the betaA domain are allosterically linked via a hydrophobic T-junction between the middle of the alpha1 helix and top of the alpha7 helix. The key results of this study are: 1) that this T-junction is induced by ligand binding and hinge opening, and thus displays bidirectionality; 2) that formation of this junction can be accelerated by ligand-mediated force; and 3) how formation of this junction is inhibited by Ca(2+) in place of Mg(2+) at the site adjacent to the metal ion-dependent adhesion site ("ADMIDAS"). Together with recent experimental evidence that integrin complexes can form catch bonds (i.e. become strengthened under force), as well as earlier evidence that Ca(2+) at the ADMIDAS results in lower binding affinity, these simulations provide a common structural model for the dynamic process by which integrins become activated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

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