The lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA-1) belongs to the family of beta2-integrins and plays an important role in T-cell activation and leukocyte migration to sites of inflammation. We report here that lovastatin, a drug clinically used for lowering cholesterol levels, inhibits the interaction of human LFA-1 with its counter-receptor intercellular adhesion molecule-1. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography we show that the inhibitor binds to a highly conserved domain of the LFA-1 alpha-chain called the I-domain. The first three-dimensional structure of an integrin inhibitor bound to its receptor reveals atomic details for a hitherto unknown mode of LFA-1 inhibition. It also sheds light into possible mechanisms of LFA-1 mediated signalling and will support the design of novel anti-adhesive and immunosuppressive drugs.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.