Structural Determinants of Integrin Binding to the Talin Rod*S⃞

Department of Biochemistry, University of Leicester, Lancaster Road, Leicester LE1 9HN, United Kingdom.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 02/2009; 284(13):8866-76. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M805937200
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The adaptor protein talin serves both to activate the integrin family of cell adhesion molecules and to couple integrins to the actin cytoskeleton. Integrin activation has been shown to involve binding of the talin FERM domain to membrane proximal sequences in the cytoplasmic domain of the integrin beta-subunit. However, a second integrin-binding site (IBS2) has been identified near the C-terminal end of the talin rod. Here we report the crystal structure of IBS2 (residues 1974-2293), which comprises two five-helix bundles, "IBS2-A" (1974-2139) and "IBS2-B" (2140-2293), connected by a continuous helix with a distinct kink at its center that is stabilized by side-chain H-bonding. Solution studies using small angle x-ray scattering and NMR point to a fairly flexible quaternary organization. Using pull-down and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, we demonstrate that integrin binding requires both IBS2 domains, as does binding to acidic phospholipids and robust targeting to focal adhesions. We have defined the membrane proximal region of the integrin cytoplasmic domain as the major binding region, although more membrane distal regions are also required for strong binding. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis points to an important electrostatic component to binding. Thermal unfolding experiments show that integrin binding induces conformational changes in the IBS2 module, which we speculate are linked to vinculin and membrane binding.

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    ABSTRACT: Talin binds to and activates integrins and is thought to couple them to cytoskeletal actin. However, functional studies on talin have been restricted by the fact that most cells express two talin isoforms. Here we show that human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) express only talin1, and that talin1 knockdown inhibited focal adhesion (FA) assembly preventing the cells from maintaining a spread morphology, a phenotype that was rescued by GFP-mouse talin1. Thus HUVEC offer an ideal model system in which to conduct talin structure/function studies. Talin contains an N-terminal FERM domain (comprised of F1, F2 and F3 domains) and a C-terminal flexible rod. The F3 FERM domain binds beta-integrin tails, and mutations in F3 that inhibited integrin binding (W359A) or activation (L325R) severely compromised the ability of GFP-talin1 to rescue the talin1 knockdown phenotype despite the presence of a second integrin-binding site in the talin rod. The talin rod contains several actin-binding sites (ABS), and mutations in the C-terminal ABS that reduced actin-binding impaired talin1 function, whereas those that increased binding resulted in more stable FAs. The results show that both the N-terminal integrin and C-terminal actin-binding functions of talin are essential to cell spreading and FA assembly. Finally, mutations that relieve talin auto-inhibition resulted in the rapid and excessive production of FA, highlighting the importance of talin regulation within the cell.
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