The cytoplasmic domains of integrins provide attachment of these extracellular matrix receptors to the cytoskeleton and play a critical role in integrin-mediated signal transduction. In this report we describe the identification, expression, localization, and initial functional characterization of a novel form of beta 1 integrin, termed beta 1D. This isoform contains a unique alternatively spliced cytoplasmic domain of 50 amino acids, with the last 24 amino acids encoded by an additional exon. Of these 24 amino acids, 11 are conserved when compared to the beta 1A isoform, but 13 are unique (Zhidkova, N. I., A. M. Belkin, and R. Mayne. 1995. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 214:279-285; van der Flier, A., I. Kuikman, C. Baudoin, R, van der Neuf, and A. Sonnenberg. 1995. FEBS Lett. 369:340-344). Using an anti-peptide antibody against the beta 1D integrin subunit, we demonstrated that the beta 1D isoform is synthesized only in skeletal and cardiac muscles, while very low amounts of beta 1A were detected by immunoblot in striated muscles. Whereas beta 1A could not be detected in adult skeletal muscle fibers and cardiomyocytes by immunofluorescence, beta 1D was localized to the sarcolemma of both cell types. In skeletal muscle, beta 1D was concentrated in costameres, myotendinous, and neuromuscular junctions. In cardiac muscle this beta 1 isoform was found in costamers and intercalated discs. beta 1D was associated with alpha 7A and alpha 7B in adult skeletal muscle. In cardiomyocytes of adult heart, alpha 7B was the major partner for the beta 1D isoform. beta 1D could not be detected in proliferating C2C12 myoblasts, but it appeared immediately after myoblast fusion and its amount continued to rise during myotube growth and maturation. In contrast, expression of the beta 1A isoform was downregulated during myodifferentiation in culture and it was completely displaced by beta 1D in mature differentiated myotubes. We also analyzed some functional properties of the beta 1D integrin subunit. Expression of human beta 1D in CHO cells led to its localization at focal adhesions. Clustering of this integrin isoform on the cell surface stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of pp125FAK (focal adhesion kinase) and caused transient activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases. These data indicate that beta 1D and beta 1A integrin isoforms are functionally similar with regard to integrin-mediated signaling.

This content is only available as a PDF.