The cell substrate attachment (CSAT) antigen is an integral membrane glycoprotein complex that participates in the adhesion of cells to extracellular molecules. The CSAT monoclonal antibody, directed against this complex, inhibited adhesion of cardiac and tendon fibroblasts and skeletal myoblasts to both laminin and fibronectin, thus implicating the CSAT antigen in adhesion to these extracellular molecules. Equilibrium gel filtration was used to explore the hypothesis that the CSAT antigen functions as a cell surface receptor for both laminin and fibronectin. In this technique, designed for rapidly exchanging equilibria, the gel filtration column is pre-equilibrated with extracellular ligand to ensure receptor occupancy during its journey through the column. Both laminin and fibronectin formed complexes with the CSAT antigen. The association with laminin was inhibited by the CSAT monoclonal antibody; the associations with both fibronectin and laminin were inhibited by synthetic peptides containing the fibronectin cell-binding sequence. Estimates of the dissociation constants by equilibrium gel filtration agree well with those available from other measurements. This suggests that these associations are biologically significant. SDS PAGE showed that all three glycoproteins comprising the CSAT antigen were present in the antigen-ligand complexes. Gel filtration and velocity sedimentation were used to show that the three bands comprise and oligomeric complex, which provides an explanation for their functional association. The inhibition of adhesion by the CSAT monoclonal antibody and the association of the purified antigen with extracellular ligands are interpreted as strongly implicating the CSAT antigen as a receptor for both fibronectin and laminin and perhaps for other extracellular molecules as well.

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