Cells of the rat neuronal line, PC12, adhere well to substrates coated with laminin and type IV collagen, but attach poorly to fibronectin. Adhesion and neurite extension in response to these extracellular matrix proteins are inhibited by Fab fragments of an antiserum (anti-ECMR) that recognizes PC12 cell surface integrin subunits of Mr 120,000, 140,000, and 180,000 (Tomaselli, K. J., C. H. Damsky, and L. F. Reichardt. 1987. J. Cell Biol. 105:2347-2358). Here we extend our study of integrin structure and function in PC12 cells using integrin subunit-specific antibodies prepared against synthetic peptides corresponding to the cytoplasmic domains of the human integrin beta 1 and the fibronectin receptor alpha (alpha FN) subunits. Anti-integrin beta 1 immunoprecipitated a 120-kD beta 1 subunit and two noncovalently associated integrin alpha subunits of 140 and 180 kD from detergent extracts of surface-labeled PC12 cells. Immunodepletion studies using anti-integrin beta 1 demonstrated that these two putative alpha/beta heterodimers are identical to those recognized by the adhesion-perturbing ECMR antiserum. Anti-alpha FN immunoprecipitated fibronectin receptor heterodimers in human and rat fibroblastic cells, but not in PC12 cells. Thus, low levels of expression of the integrin alpha FN subunit can explain the poor attachment of PC12 cells to FN. The PC12 cell integrins were purified using a combination of lectin and ECMR antibody affinity chromatography. The purified integrins: (a) completely neutralize the ability of the anti-ECMR serum to inhibit PC12 cell adhesion to laminin and collagen IV; (b) have hydrodynamic properties that are very similar to those of previously characterized integrin alpha/beta heterodimeric receptors for ECM proteins; and (c) can be incorporated into phosphatidylcholine vesicles that then bind specifically to substrates coated with laminin or collagen IV but not fibronectin. Thus, the ligand-binding specificity of the liposomes containing the purified PC12 integrins closely parallels the substrate-binding preference of intact PC12 cells. These results demonstrate that mammalian integrins purified from a neuronal cell line can, when incorporated into lipid vesicles, function as receptors for laminin and type IV collagen.

This content is only available as a PDF.