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

The beta 4 integrin subunit is expressed in mouse fibroblasts and modulated by transforming growth factor-beta 1.

Integrin beta 4 subunit is present in association with alpha 6 chain on both normal and transformed epithelial cells. Recently alpha 6 beta 4 heterodimer was found on the endothelium of medium-sized blood vessels and on immature thymocytes. In this report we show, by Northern blotting, indirect immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation, and Western blotting, that beta 4 subunit is expressed also on cells of mesenchymal origin such as fibroblasts, myoblasts, and myotubes. Increased expression of alpha 6 beta 4 has been related to the aggressive metastatic phenotype of human and murine carcinomas. The transforming growth factor beta 1 ( TGF-beta 1) has been found to modulate the expression of several integrins and intracellular matrix proteins, as well as to stimulate cell invasion and metastatic potential. To evaluate whether alpha 6 beta 4 expression is modulated by TGF-beta 1, we transfected 3T3 fibroblasts with an expression vector carrying the human TGF-beta 1 cDNA driven by the SV40 early promoter. We observed by indirect immunofluorescence a modification in the subcellular distribution of beta 4 subunit, which acquires a perinuclear localization. This finding suggests this integrin subunit correlates with the cytoskeletal reorganization induced by TGF-beta 1.[1]


  1. The beta 4 integrin subunit is expressed in mouse fibroblasts and modulated by transforming growth factor-beta 1. Scardigli, R., Soddu, S., Falcioni, R., Crescenzi, M., Cimino, L., Sacchi, A. Exp. Cell Res. (1996) [Pubmed]
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