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J Cell Biol. 1991 Jan;112(1):169-81.

Receptor functions for the integrin VLA-3: fibronectin, collagen, and laminin binding are differentially influenced by Arg-Gly-Asp peptide and by divalent cations.

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  • 1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


The capability of the integrin VLA-3 to function as a receptor for collagen (Coll), laminin (Lm), and fibronectin (Fn) was addressed using both whole cell adhesion assays and ligand affinity columns. Analysis of VLA-3-mediated cell adhesion was facilitated by the use of a small cell lung carcinoma line (NCI-H69), which expresses VLA-3 but few other integrins. While VLA-3 interaction with Fn was often low or undetectable in cells having both VLA-3 and VLA-5, NCI-H69 cells readily attached to Fn in a VLA-3-dependent manner. Both Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptide inhibition studies, and Fn fragment affinity columns suggested that VLA-3, like VLA-5, may bind to the RGD site in human Fn. However, unlike Fn, both Coll and Lm supported VLA-3-mediated adhesion that was not inhibited by RGD peptide, and was totally unaffected by the presence of VLA-5. In addition, VLA-3-mediated binding to Fn was low in the presence of Ca++, but was increased 6.6-fold with Mg++, and 30-fold in the presence of Mn++. In contrast, binding to Coll was increased only 1.2-fold with Mg++, and 1.7-fold in Mn++, as compared to the level seen with Ca++. Together, these experiments indicate that VLA-3 can bind Coll, Lm, and Fn, and also show that (a) VLA-3 can recognize both RGD-dependent and RGD-independent ligands, and (b) different VLA-3 ligands have distinctly dissimilar divalent cation sensitivities.

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