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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Oct 9;251(1):49-55.

Characterization of a tight molecular complex between integrin alpha 6 beta 4 and laminin-5 extracellular matrix.

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Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California, 92037, USA.


In many adult epithelia, e.g., epidermis or intestine, adhesion of epithelial cells to basement membrane requires the integrin alpha6 beta4 and laminin-5 (Ln-5). In the absence of one or the other, extensive blistering and exfoliation occur. While alpha6 beta4 was reported to be a receptor for Ln-5, this interaction is poorly understood. We characterize complexes between alpha6 beta4 and Ln-5 in cell-free preparations of extracellular matrix (ECM) from the epithelial cell line, 804G. By microsequencing, Ln-5 and alpha6 beta4 were the major proteins in this ECM and were likely engaged in receptor/ligand complexes because, by immunofluorescence, alpha6 beta4 was colocalized with Ln-5 both in cell monolayers and in cell-free ECM preparations, but they disappeared after preincubation of the monolayers with alpha6 beta4 or Ln-5 function-blocking antibodies. The alpha6 beta4/Ln-5 complexes were resistant to dissociation by extreme pH, urea, chaotropes, eDTA, non-ionic detergents, and b-mercaptoethanol. They were only dissociated by strong anionic detergents, e.g., 1% SDS, suggesting receptor/ligand interactions based on high affinity or avidity. We propose that these alpha6 beta4/Ln-5 complexes may provide links between plasma membrane and basement membrane that resist mechanical stress and support epithelial integrity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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