Synergistic roles for receptor occupancy and aggregation in integrin transmembrane function

Science. 1995 Feb 10;267(5199):883-5. doi: 10.1126/science.7846531.


Integrin receptors mediate cell adhesion, signal transduction, and cytoskeletal organization. How a single transmembrane receptor can fulfill multiple functions was clarified by comparing roles of receptor occupancy and aggregation. Integrin occupancy by monovalent ligand induced receptor redistribution, but minimal tyrosine phosphorylation signaling or cytoskeletal protein redistribution. Aggregation of integrins by noninhibitory monoclonal antibodies on beads induced intracellular accumulations of pp125FAK and tensin, as well as phosphorylation, but no accumulation of other cytoskeletal proteins such as talin. Combining antibody-mediated clustering with monovalent ligand occupancy induced accumulation of seven cytoskeletal proteins, including alpha-actinin, talin, and F-actin, thereby mimicking multivalent interactions with fibronectin or polyvalent peptides. Integrins therefore mediate a complex repertoire of functions through the distinct effects of receptor aggregation, receptor occupancy, or both together.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Humans
  • Integrins / physiology*
  • Ligands
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligopeptides / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tensins
  • Tyrosine / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Integrins
  • Ligands
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Oligopeptides
  • Tensins
  • Tyrosine
  • glycyl-arginyl-glycyl-aspartyl-serine
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase 1
  • Focal Adhesion Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • PTK2 protein, human