The integrin α subunit leg extends at a Ca2+-dependent epitope in the thigh/genu interface upon activation

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Two activation-dependent Abs to the integrin alphaL-subunit were used to study conformational rearrangement of alphaLbeta2 on the cell surface. Activation lowered the concentration of Ca2+ required for maximal expression of each epitope. Each Ab requires the Ca2+-binding loop in the integrin genu and nearby species-specific residues in the thigh domain. Key thigh residues are shielded from Ab in the bent integrin conformation by the alpha-subunit calf-1 domain and the nearby bent beta leg, suggesting that extension at the genu is required for epitope exposure. Activating stimuli and alpha/beta I-like small molecule antagonists demonstrate that exposure of epitopes in the integrin alpha- and beta-subunit legs is coordinate during integrin activation. A coordinating residue donated by the calf-1 domain is as important as Ca2+ for mAb binding. Together with inspection of the alphaV structure, this result suggests that the genu/calf-1 interface is maintained in integrin activation, and that extension occurs by a rearrangement at the thigh/genu interface.


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Last updated on 09/30/2015