We report data showing that the integrin receptor complex in chickens contains several discrete heterodimers all sharing the beta 1-integrin subunit combined separately with different alpha-subunits. Using antisera to synthetic peptides based on cDNA sequences of chicken and human alpha-integrin subunits to analyze the integrin complement of avian and mammalian cells, we show that band 2 of the chicken integrin complex contains alpha-subunits related to both alpha 3- and alpha 5-subunits of human integrins. alpha 3 beta 1 and alpha 5 beta 1 have both previously been shown in human cells to be fibronectin receptors and alpha 3 beta 1 can also act as a receptor for laminin and collagen. We also provide evidence for the presence, in band 1 of the chicken integrin complex, of a third integrin alpha-subunit which is also alpha 5 related. This integrin subunit exists in a separate heterodimer complex with beta 1 and binds to fibronectin-affinity columns. These results provide explanations for published data showing that the avian integrin complex contains receptor activity for a variety of extracellular matrix proteins. We conclude that the chicken integrin complex comprises a set of beta 1-integrin heterodimers equivalent to the human VLA antigens and includes at least two fibronectin receptors. Finally, we show that chicken embryo fibroblasts also contain a beta 3-class integrin related to the RGD receptors defined in various human cells.

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