Using a K562 cell transfection model, we have previously described a novel relationship between the integrins alpha v beta 3 and alpha 5 beta 1. alpha v beta 3 ligation was able to inhibit alpha 5 beta 1-mediated phagocytosis without effect on alpha 5 beta 1-mediated adhesion. The alpha v beta 3-dependent inhibition apparently required a signal transduction cascade as it was reversed by inhibitors of serine/threonine kinases. Now, we have studied the mechanisms of signal transduction in this system and have found that the beta 3 cytoplasmic tail is both necessary and sufficient for initiation of the signal leading to inhibition of alpha 5 beta 1 phagocytosis. Ligation of integrin-associated protein (IAP), which has been implicated in alpha v beta 3 signal transduction, mimics the effects of alpha v beta 3 ligation only when the beta 3 integrin with an intact cytoplasmic tail is present. Although fibronectin-mediated phagocytosis requires the high affinity conformation of alpha 5 beta 1, ligation of alpha v beta 3/IAP does not prevent acquisition of this high affinity state. We conclude that alpha v beta 3/IAP ligation initates a signal transduction cascade, dependent upon the beta 3 cytoplasmic tail, which inhibits the phagocytic function of alpha 5 beta 1 at a step subsequent to modulation of integrin affinity.

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