Both the skeletal muscle myoblast cell line L6 and an adhesion-deficient variant of L6 released glycoprotein complexes, termed adherons, into their culture medium. The adherons from the variant, M3A, differed from those of L6 in a number of properties. M3A adherons were much less effective in promoting the cell-substratum and cell-cell adhesion of myoblasts than L6 particles. The adherons from the two cell lines also differed in their relative sedimentation velocities in sucrose gradients and had different chemical compositions. The M3A particle lacked chondroitin and contained relatively less collagen and fibronectin than the L6 adheron. Both L6 and M3A particles adhered to plastic surfaces and cells equally well in the absence of calcium ions. Neither cell-cell adhesion nor particle aggregation occurred in calcium-free medium. However, in the presence of calcium, the L6 adherons aggregated completely and M3A particles aggregated poorly. These data suggest that at least two sets of interactions are required for adheron-mediated adhesion: a calcium-independent binding of the adheron to the cell, and a calcium-dependent interaction between particles that is directly responsible for adhesion. The M3A variant is blocked at the calcium-dependent step, resulting in an adhesion deficiency.

This content is only available as a PDF.