alexa Alpha5beta1 integrin mediates strong tissue cohesion.
Medicine

Medicine

Translational Medicine

Author(s): Robinson EE, Zazzali KM, Corbett SA, Foty RA

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Abstract Integrins and cadherins are considered to have distinct and opposing functions. Integrins are traditionally cited for their role in cell-substratum interactions, whereas cadherins are thought to mediate strong intercellular cohesion. Together, these adhesion systems play crucial roles in a wide variety of cellular and developmental processes including cell migration, morphology, differentiation and proliferation. In this manuscript we present evidence that integrins possess the ability to mediate strong intercellular cohesion when cells are grown as 3D aggregates. Much of the data elucidating the role of integrins as mediators of cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions have been generated using conventional cell culture techniques in which cells are plated onto ECM-coated 2D surfaces. In vivo, cells are embedded in a 3D meshwork of ECM proteins. We hypothesized that, within this meshwork, integrin-ECM interactions may impart cohesivity to an aggregate of cells by linking adjacent cells together. To test this hypothesis, we transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-B2) cells to express alpha5beta1 integrin and found that these cells formed compact, spherical aggregates. We measured aggregate cohesivity using tissue surface tensiometry, a novel technique that quantifies cell-cell cohesivity of spheroids under physiological conditions. We determined that alpha5beta1 integrin is capable of conferring strong cohesivity (sigma=8.22+/-0.68 dynes/cm) to aggregates of alpha5-integrin-transfected cells. This cohesion was found to be independent of cadherin expression and was significantly greater than the cohesivity conferred onto CHO-B2 cells transfected with N-cadherin (sigma=3.14+/-0.20 dynes/cm, P This article was published in J Cell Sci and referenced in Translational Medicine

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