Integrin, the cell-substrate attachment (CSAT) antigen, is a complex of integral membrane glycoproteins whose apparent function is to mediate cell-substratum adhesion by serving as a transmembrane link between the extracellular matrix and elements of the cytoskeleton. Previous attempts to separate the members of this complex under nondenaturing conditions have been successful. We have now produced a monoclonal antibody "G" that is specific for the lower molecular mass cysteine-rich band 3 of the complex. Using an antibody affinity column containing this monoclonal antibody, it is possible to dissociate integrin into two fractions, one containing band 3, the other containing bands 1 plus 2. Neither fraction will by itself bind fibronectin, laminin, or talin. However, when the fractions are combined, the reconstituted integrin elutes from a gel filtration column in the same position as the native complex, and binding activity to these molecules returns. Further, it is shown by gel filtration that the recognition site for the adhesion-disrupting monoclonal antibodies CSAT and JG22 is on band 3, supporting the contention that integrin is an oligomer. The data presented here is consistent with integrin being either a mixture of heterodimers, each with a common subunit and reacting with a particular extracellular matrix molecule, or a single heterotrimer capable of binding to several different extracellular matrix molecules.

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