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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of a novel integrin beta subunit expressed on cultured monocytes (macrophages). Evidence that one alpha subunit can associate with multiple beta subunits.

The vitronectin receptor ( VnR) is one member of a subset of cell adhesion receptors within the integrin supergene family which shares the beta 3 subunit (IIIa). We show here that the VnR is absent from the surface of monocytes freshly isolated from blood but is expressed on these cells after a period of in vitro culture. Such cultured monocytes (macrophages) from a patient with type I Glanzmann's thrombasthenia, however, failed to express the VnR. Instead, immunoprecipitation with a monoclonal antibody directed to the VnR alpha chain (alpha v) revealed a novel integrin comprising alpha v associated noncovalently with a 100-kDa beta subunit (beta 3b), immunologically unrelated to the VnR beta subunit (beta 3a). This same novel integrin complex was also identified on 10-day-old macrophages from healthy donors, but on these cells, the beta 3b subunit was co-expressed with the classical VnR complex of alpha v beta 3a. The novel beta 3b subunit was not identified by monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies to IIIa (beta 3a) nor by a monoclonal antibody to the classical VnR complex. The beta 3b subunit could be distinguished from beta 3a by its relatively greater migration on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis after reduction, by its distinct isoelectric point upon two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and by one-dimensional peptide mapping. Neither platelets nor B lymphoblasts from this patient with Glanzmann's thrombasthenia expressed any VnR on their surface, whereas control cells from a normal donor expressed the classical VnR but not the beta 3b subunit. The two beta chains, and hence also the combined receptor complexes, appeared to be differentially regulated. These findings provide the first example of an integrin alpha chain complexed with more than a single beta chain in the same cell. Furthermore, the differential regulation of expression of the different beta subunits that associate with the VnR alpha chain on cultured monocytes suggests a role for the novel receptor complex during monocyte/macrophage differentiation.[1]


  1. Identification of a novel integrin beta subunit expressed on cultured monocytes (macrophages). Evidence that one alpha subunit can associate with multiple beta subunits. Krissansen, G.W., Elliott, M.J., Lucas, C.M., Stomski, F.C., Berndt, M.C., Cheresh, D.A., Lopez, A.F., Burns, G.F. J. Biol. Chem. (1990) [Pubmed]
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