The integrin family of adhesion receptors consists of several heterodimeric glycoproteins, each composed of one alpha and one beta subunit. A novel integrin alpha subunit partial cDNA isolated from TGF-beta stimulated guinea pig airway epithelial cells has previously been reported (Erle, D.J., D. Sheppard, J. Bruess, C. Rüegg, and R. Pytela. 1991. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 5:170-177). We have now determined cDNA and amino acid sequence for the human homolog of this subunit, named alpha 9, from a human lung cDNA library, a human small intestine cDNA library, and cDNA from the cell lines U937, HL-60 and Tera-2. This sequence is predicted to encode a 1006-amino acid mature protein that shares 39% identity with the previously identified integrin subunit alpha 4. By Northern blot analysis, alpha 9 mRNA was detected in the human carcinoma cell lines Tera-2 and Caco-2. Anti-peptide antibodies against the predicted COOH-terminal sequence of alpha 9 immunoprecipitated a heterodimer (140 kD/115 kD nonreduced; 150 kD/130 kD reduced) from Tera-2 lysates. Immunodepletion of beta 1-containing integrins with Tera-2 lysates removed alpha 9 immunoreactivity, suggesting that beta 1 is the principal beta subunit partner for alpha 9 in these cells. alpha 9 was detected by immunohistochemistry in airway epithelium, in the basal layer of squamous epithelium, and in smooth muscle, skeletal muscle, and hepatocytes.

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