Presentation of integrins on leukocyte microvilli: A role for the extracellular domain in determining membrane localization

M. Abi Abitorabi, Russell K. Pachynski, Ronald E. Ferrando, Mark Tidswell, David J. Erle

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77 Scopus citations


Adhesion of blood leukocytes to the endothelium involves multiple steps including initial attachment (tethering), rolling, and firm arrest. Presentation of adhesion molecules on leukocyte microvilli can substantially enhance tethering. Localization of L-selectin to microvilli and of CD44 to the planar cell body have been shown to depend upon their transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. We investigated the role of leukocyte integrin transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains in initiating adhesion under flow and in microvillous localization. Integrins α4β7, αLβ2, and αMβ2 were heterologously expressed in K562 cells. α4β7 initiated adhesion under flow and localized to microvilli, whereas β2 integrins did not initiate adhesion and localized to the cell body. Chimeric integrins were produced by replacing the α4β7 cytoplasmic and/or transmembrane domains with the homologous domains of αLβ2 or αMβ2. Unexpectedly, these chimeras efficiently mediated adhesion to the α4β7 ligand mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule-1 under flow and localized to microvilli. Therefore, differences between the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of α4 and β2 integrins do not account for differences in ability to support attachment under flow or in membrane localization. Integrins α4β1, α5β1, α6Aβ1, ανβ3, and αEβ7 also localized to microvilli. Transmembrane proteins known or suspected to associate with extracellular domains of microvillous integrins, including tetraspans and CD47, were concentrated on microvilli as well. These findings suggest that interactions between the extracellular domains of integrins and associated proteins could direct the assembly of multimolecular complexes on leukocyte microvilli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-571
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 20 1997


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