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EMBO J. 1999 Aug 2;18(15):4087-95.

Crystal structure of a tandem pair of fibronectin type III domains from the cytoplasmic tail of integrin alpha6beta4.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK.


The integrin alpha6beta4 is an essential component of hemidesmosomes but it also plays a dynamic role in invasive carcinoma cells. The cytoplasmic tail of the beta4 subunit is uniquely large among integrins and includes two pairs of fibronectin type III domains separated by a connecting segment. Here we describe the crystal structure of the first tandem domain pair, a module that is critical for alpha6beta4 function. The structure reveals a novel interdomain interface and candidate protein-binding sites, including a large acidic cleft formed from the surfaces of both domains and a prominent loop that is reminiscent of the RGD integrin-binding loop of fibronectin. This is the first crystal structure of either a hemidesmosome component or an integrin cytoplasmic domain, and it will enable the intracellular functions of alpha6beta4 to be dissected at the atomic level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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