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J Invest Dermatol. 1998 Dec;111(6):1015-22.

Interaction of BP180 (type XVII collagen) and alpha6 integrin is necessary for stabilization of hemidesmosome structure.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


The hemidesmosome is a multimolecular complex that integrates the extracellular matrix with the keratin cytoskeleton and that stabilizes epithelial attachment to connective tissue. A 180 kDa protein (BP180, type XVII collagen), first identified by its reactivity with autoantibodies in the serum of patients with a blistering skin disease called bullous pemphigoid (BP), is a transmembrane component of the hemidesmosome with a collagen-like extracellular domain. Here, using recombinantly expressed molecules and the yeast two-hybrid assay, we have identified alpha6 integrin as a BP180-binding partner. The association between specific domains of the BP180 and alpha6 integrin molecules is inhibited by a 14 mer peptide, whose sequence is identical to amino acid residues 506-519 in the noncollagenous region of the ectodomain of the BP180 molecule, as well as by antibodies raised against this peptide. The 14 mer peptide sequence is part of an epitope recognized by autoantibodies that are pathogenic in BP. In vivo, when 804G cells are plated into medium containing the same peptide, they fail to assemble hemidesmosomes. Furthermore, although BP180 and certain cytoplasmic components of the hemidesmosome colocalize in the peptide-treated cells, they are aberrantly distributed and fail to show extensive association with (alpha6beta4 integrin. Taken together, our results indicate that BP180 is a novel transmembrane ligand of the alpha6beta4 integrin heterodimer. In addition, our data provide support for the possibility that BP180 and alpha6 integrin interaction is not only mediated by the BP epitope but is necessary for hemidesmosome formation.

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