To carry out a detailed comparison of the roles of integrin beta 1 and beta 5 cytoplasmic domains, we expressed both wild type beta 1 and chimeric beta 1/5 constructs in CHO cells. In the latter, the cytoplasmic domain of beta 1 was replaced with that of beta 5. The human beta 1 and beta 1/5 constructs appeared at similar levels at the cell surface (mostly as alpha 5 beta 1 heterodimers) and contributed equally to CHO cell adhesion to fibronectin. However, beta 1 but not beta 1/5 localized to focal adhesion-like structures when CHO cells were spread on fibronectin. Furthermore, only the beta 1-CHO cells showed increased proliferation in response to fibronectin plus an integrin-activating anti-beta 1 antibody, and showed increased appearance of 32P-labeled protein (p90) that correlated with proliferation. In sharp contrast, the beta 1/5-CHO cells were notably more migratory than beta 1-CHO cells in a transwell haptotactic migration assay. These results indicate that the beta 1 and beta 5 integrin subunit cytoplasmic domains can translate similar adhesive information into highly contrasting subsequent events. Thus, we have established that "inside-out" and "outside-in" integrin signaling pathways are regulated by fundamentally distinct mechanisms. In addition, we suggest that the same properties of the beta 1 cytoplasmic domain that promote recruitment to visible focal adhesion-like structures may also be conductive to cell proliferation. Conversely, the properties of the beta 5 tail that make it less likely to localize into focal adhesion-like structures may contribute to enhanced cell migration.

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