Immune surveillance and host defense depend on the precisely regulated trafficking of lymphocytes. Integrin α4β7 mediates lymphocyte homing to the gut through its interaction with mucosal vascular address in cell adhesion molecule-1 (MAdCAM-1). α4β7 also binds vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), which is expressed in other tissues. To maintain the tissue specificity of lymphocyte homing, α4β7 must distinguish one ligand from the other. Here, we demonstrate that α4β7 is activated by different chemokines in a ligand-specific manner. CCL25 stimulation promotes α4β7-mediated lymphocyte adhesion to MAdCAM-1 but suppresses adhesion to VCAM-1, whereas CXCL10 stimulation has the opposite effect. Using separate pathways, CCL25 and CXCL10 stimulate differential phosphorylation states of the β7 tail and distinct talin and kindlin-3 binding patterns, resulting in different binding affinities of MAdCAM-1 and VCAM-1 to α4β7. Thus, our findings provide a mechanism for lymphocyte traffic control through the unique ligand-specific regulation of integrin adhesion by different chemokines.
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