A 140,000-D protein cell surface antigen (140k) complex has been implicated in fibronectin-mediated cell-substratum attachment. We have used three different experimental systems to evaluate the hypothesis that this 140k complex can function as a fibronectin receptor. A monoclonal antibody that binds to the 140k complex specifically inhibits the direct binding of 3H-labeled 75,000-D fibronectin cell-binding fragment (f75k) to chicken embryo fibroblasts in suspension. The 140k complex is retarded in its passage through an affinity column consisting of immobilized f75k, and this interaction is specifically inhibited by a synthetic peptide that contains the fibronectin cell-recognition signal sequence. Finally, exogenous purified 140k complex inhibits the attachment and spreading of chicken embryo fibroblasts on fibronectin-coated substrates. Thus, our results indicate that the 140k complex can bind directly to fibronectin and is likely to be a fibronectin receptor for chicken cells.

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