Permissive transmembrane helix heterodimerization is required for the expression of a functional integrin.
ABSTRACT The current paradigm is that integrin is activated via inside-out signalling when its cytoplasmic tails and TMs (transmembrane helices) are separated by specific cytosolic protein(s). Perturbations of the helical interface between the alpha- and beta-TMs of an integrin, as a result of mutations, affect its function. Previous studies have shown the requirement for specific pairing between integrin subunits by ectodomain-exchange analyses. It remains unknown whether permissive alpha/beta-TM pairing of an integrin is also required for pairing specificity and the expression of a functionally regulated receptor. We performed scanning replacement of integrin beta2-TM with a TM of other integrin beta-subunits. With the exception of beta4 substitution, others presented beta2-integrins with modified phenotypes, either in their expression or ligand-binding properties. Subsequently, we adopted alphaLbeta2 for follow-on experiments because its conformation and affinity-state transitions have been well defined as compared with other members of the beta2-integrins. Replacement of beta2- with beta3-TM generated a chimaeric alphaLbeta2 of an intermediate affinity that adhered to ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule 1) but not to ICAM-3 constitutively. Replacing alphaL-TM with alphaIIb-TM, forming a natural alphaIIb/beta3-TM pair, reversed the phenotype of the chimaera to that of wild-type alphaLbeta2. Interestingly, the replacement of alphaLbeta2- with beta3-TM showed neither an extended conformation nor the separation of its cytoplasmic tails, which are well-reported hallmarks of an activated alphaLbeta2, as determined by reporter mAb (monoclonal antibody) KIM127 reactivity and FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) measurements respectively. Collectively, our results suggest that TM pairing specificity is required for the expression of a functionally regulated integrin.
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ABSTRACT: Integrins play critical adhesion and signaling roles during development, wound healing, immunity, and cancer. Central to their function is a unique ability to dynamically modulate their adhesiveness and signaling properties through changes in conformation, both homo- and heterotypic protein-protein interactions and cellular distribution. Genetic, biochemical and structural studies have been instrumental in uncovering overall functions, describing ligand and regulatory protein interactions and elucidating the molecular architecture of integrins. However, such approaches alone are inadequate to describe how dynamic integrin behaviors are orchestrated in intact cells. To fill this void, a wide array of distinct light microscopy (largely fluorescence-based) imaging approaches have been developed and employed. Various microscopy technologies, including wide-field, optical sectioning (laser-scanning confocal, spinning-disk confocal, and multiphoton), TIRF and range of novel "Super-Resolution" techniques have been used in combination with diverse imaging modalities (such as IRM, FRET, FRAP, CALI, and fluorescence speckle imaging) to address distinct aspects of integrin function and regulation. This chapter provides an overview of these imaging approaches and how they have advanced our understanding of integrins.Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2012; 757:159-89.