Integrin αEβ7: molecular features and functional significance in the immune system

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014;819:97-110. doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-9153-3_7.


Alpha E beta 7 (αEβ7) is an α-I domain-containing integrin that is highly expressed by a variety of leukocyte populations at mucosal sites including intraepithelial T cells, dendritic cells, mast cells, and T regulatory cells (Treg). Expression depends largely or solely on transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) isoforms. The best characterized ligand for αEβ7 is E-cadherin on epithelial cells, though there is evidence of a second ligand in the human system. An exposed acidic residue on the distal aspect of E-cadherin domain 1 interacts with the MIDAS site in the αE α-I domain. By binding to E-cadherin, αEβ7 contributes to mucosal specific retention of leukocytes within epithelia. Studies on αE knockout mice have identified an additional important function for this integrin in allograft rejection and have also indicated that it may have a role in immunoregulation. Recent studies point to a multifaceted role for αEβ7 in regulating both innate and acquired immune responses to foreign antigen.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Integrins / analysis
  • Integrins / chemistry
  • Integrins / genetics
  • Integrins / physiology*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Integrins
  • integrin alphaEbeta7